Widespread flooding reported across the south and south east

File photo. Picture: Fergal Phillips
File photo. Picture: Fergal Phillips
Ferrying neighbours through the floods at Mukanagh, Athlone in 2015. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Ralph Riegel

STORM force winds and torrential rain caused travel misery across Ireland with widespread flooding reported across the south and south east.

Worst hit by Storm Deirdre - the 'unofficial' fourth storm of the season - were counties Cork, Waterford, Tipperary and Kerry where winds reached almost 130km/h off coastal waters and 110km/h across inland areas.

An estimated 50mm of rain fell in less than 24 hours across parts of Cork - leaving commuters facing travel misery due to floods and debris on roads.

A Status Yellow wind and rain warning was in place for 13 counties as torrential rainfall began in Cork and Waterford from 4am.

Cork City and Co Councils confirmed spot flooding on dozens of roads with the problem exacerbated by large quantities of leaves and twigs shed by trees which, in cases, caused blockages as the debris was washed into drain screens.

In Cork city, spot flooding was reported along numerous city roads and some quays as pedestrians struggled to reach shelter in the heavy downpours.

At Cork Airport, gusting winds resulted in challenging conditions for pilots though flights operated as normal.

"There has been no disruption to flight operations today due to the weather," Cork Airport indicated.

In Waterford, spot flooding was reported along the River Blackwater near Lismore and Ballyduff.

Motorists were also urged to drive with extreme care in Kerry and Tipperary due to the heavy rainfall and risk of spot flooding on rural roads.

Gardaí urged drivers to slow down, allow extra time for journeys and to exercise care along areas prone to flooding - while pedestrians were urged to ensure maximum visibility.

The Irish Coastguard urged people to take caution if near exposed coastal areas where winds were expected to reach their peak potentially reaching between 110km/h and 130km/h.

Irish Water Safety also said people should exercise extreme caution near streams, rivers and lakes given the surge in levels expected because of the torrential rainfall.

Wind and rain was expected to ease last night though today (Saturday) will still witness showers, some of which may be quite heavy.

The south and south east will again see the heaviest of the showers though sunny spells will extend into Sunday.

The good news is that Met Éireann expect finer weather next week with spells of good sunshine on Monday and Tuesday.

However, there will be a risk of renewed rain showers from Wednesday.

Online Editors