independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Storms: warnings issued for much of the country

HUNDREDS of households have been left without after freak storms wreaked havoc in east Galway, south Roscommon and west Offaly overnight.

Trees were uprooted and power lines were damaged as the bad weather passed through much of the Midlands. 

In some areas – including Banagher in Offaly - there were as yet unconfirmed reports of mini tornadoes.

An ESB spokesperson said an estimated 700 homes were without power and reminded people “not to approach fallen power lines if they see them but to contact ESB networks."

Working through the night, ESB crews tried to restore power in the Clonfert area of Galway and nearby Banagher in Offaly where locals said the black cloud descended about 6.30pm.

This morning, Met Eireann tweeted that we can expect further “outbreaks of persistent, heavy rain in the midlands”.

This follows a warning issued earlier this week that Ireland would be hit with heavy floods for the rest of the week.

In some areas – including Banagher in Offaly - there were as yet unconfirmed reports of mini tornadoes

The heaviest rain is expected in Munster and Leinster, according to the national forecaster.

Forecaster Vincent O’Shea told the Irish Independent: “We are expecting this wet spell to continue right through to the end of Thursday. Expect overcast and a lot more rain to come.”

Motorists have been warned to prepare for bad road conditions in the coming days.

“At this stage, the type of flooding we would expect might be a bit of a hazard for motorists, big pools of water on the road etc. Bodies like the AA and ESB have received warnings up to 30mm rainfall,” said O’Shea.

In July this year, regions around Ireland suffered substantial damage through flash flooding. In Dublin, iconic department store Clerys shut its doors when part of its roof collapsed.

However, the future outlook is more positive as the rain is expected to ease by the weekend.  “It might not be entirely dry from Friday onwards, buy the rain should be small,” said O’Shea.

Met Eireann have an orange (mid-level) warning for Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford as spells of heavy and thundery rain with localised flooding, totals of around 40 to 70 mm expected.

Yellow warning for for Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath and Meath total rainfall of around 25 to 40 mm expected.

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