News Weather

Friday 28 April 2017

Risk of snow and thunder today as Storm Ewan leaves floods in its wake

Heavy rain and 100kmh winds batter parts of country - and the bad weather's not over yet

A cyclist tests the water at Erinagh near Ennis in Co Clare. Photo: Press 22
A cyclist tests the water at Erinagh near Ennis in Co Clare. Photo: Press 22

Gavin White and Pat Flynn

Today looks set to be bitterly cold, with Met Éireann warning that there could be hail, thunder and even some snow.

However, the national forecaster has downgraded its weather warnings as the worst of Storm Ewan has now passed.

Heavy showers of rain, hail and sleet are expected today with highest temperatures of just 4 to 7 degrees.

There is also a risk of thunder and snow on high ground.

Flooding in the tunnel at MacCumhaill Park in Ballybofey, Co Donegal, ahead of the league
match between Donegal and Dublin. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile;
Flooding in the tunnel at MacCumhaill Park in Ballybofey, Co Donegal, ahead of the league match between Donegal and Dublin. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile;

A spokesperson for Met Éireann said: "Some snow will fall as snow on high ground in the morning, with one or two snow flurries possible at lower levels. Showers will be heaviest and most frequent over the western half of the country."

Tonight, showers will continue and temperatures will reach as low as -2 degrees.

This morning there was reports of flooding around the country as high winds and heavy rain hit parts of the country as Storm Ewan battered the country.

The storm brought winds of up to 100kph when it reached landfall as there was flash flooding in Co Clare, Co Galway and parts of the midlands.

There was localised flooding and one road was turned into a raging torrent after Storm Ewan dumped hours of heavy rain in Clare yesterday.

The main Ennis to Ennistymon N85 road was left impassible in several locations for a time, while there was severe flooding along many other parts of the route.

Large plastic safety barriers located on the main N85 road near Kilnamona were washed away into the path of traffic after a river burst its banks.

Many motorists opted not to drive through the flooding and took alternative routes only to find those roads flooded also.

A driver braves the floods, also in Co Clare. Photo: Press 22
A driver braves the floods, also in Co Clare. Photo: Press 22

On one of the diversion routes, at Erinagh More near Fountain, the road was turned into a raging torrent as water flowed downhill at an alarming rate after flooding a local farmer's land.

A local man, who did not want to be named, said: "The river burst its banks here five times last year but this is the first time this year. The water is coming down from Inagh and Kilnamona and will keep coming for days even after the rain has stopped.

A couple look at a rainbow over Dún Laoghaire harbour. Photo: Fergal Phillips
A couple look at a rainbow over Dún Laoghaire harbour. Photo: Fergal Phillips

"I've seen people drive through this and get bogged down. That's a steep hill and there is huge force behind that water and it could easily lift a car," he said.

Flooding also occurred at the N80 Portlaoise to Carlow road between Arles and Simmons Cross but had cleared by early yesterday evening.

There was also flash-flooding in the midlands, as well as between Tuam and Ballinasloe.

Motorists have been cautioned to take care on the roads, with a number of fallen trees and other debris reported on routes around the country.

A spokesperson for Met Éireann said "there will be more heavy showers across the country with localised flooding in places".

Fallow deer in Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA
Fallow deer in Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

"Winds will ease after Storm Ewan just below the weather warnings but will remain fresh, strong and gusty across the country," the spokesperson said.

"Highest temperatures [will be] just 4C to 7C degrees with moderate to fresh southwest winds."

The remainder of the week is set to be changeable and cold. The spokesperson said snow remained a possibility tomorrow.

A spokesperson for the Irish Coast Guard said they had no reports of any major incidents but were advising people to "stay high, stay back and stay dry".

"Although we do not recommend it, if you must go near the coast, we ask people to let the relevant authorities know," the spokesperson said.

The RSA is asking road users to check local weather and traffic conditions and be aware of the conditions before setting out on a trip.

Veering

The spokesperson said: "Beware of objects being blown out on to the road. Expect the unexpected and watch out for falling or fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road.

"Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross-winds, and high-sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds. Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists. Drive with dipped headlights at all times," the spokesperson said.

They also warned drivers to check tyres and consider replacing them if the thread depth is below 3mm.

"It takes longer to stop in wet conditions so slow down and leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front.

"Take special care when driving behind goods vehicles as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces visibility," the spokesperson said.

Irish Independent

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