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Thursday 16 August 2018

Farmers and homeowners fear Shannon will flood as heavy rain continues to fall

South Galway experienced heavy flooding over the weekend, adding to the fodder pressures already being experienced by farmers in the are and other parts of the west and north-west. PHOTO: Hany Marzouk
South Galway experienced heavy flooding over the weekend, adding to the fodder pressures already being experienced by farmers in the are and other parts of the west and north-west. PHOTO: Hany Marzouk

Ian Begley and Ciaran Moran

Homeowners along the River Shannon fear their properties will be flooded again if the ESB continues to release water from the river in the same volumes at Ardnacrusha and Parteen Weir. 

Residents in Clare and Limerick say water levels on the Shannon have risen significantly over the last week with roads and transport affected in a number of areas.

Met Éireann and the ESB projected a rainfall total of 22mm, but residents along the Shannon say that over the last six days 40mm of rain fell.

Residents in Clonlara and Castleconnell in the south Shannon welcomed the ESB’s management of the water discharge at Ardnacrusha and Parteen Weir, but many landowners believe their homes will be affected by the persistent heavy rainfall in the next seven to 10 days.

Half John Curley’s 70-acre farm at Clonown, Roscommon is submerged in water, and Westmeath County Council predicts the level of the Shannon will rise by an inch in the coming days.

Speaking to Shannonside FM, Curley said if the rain keeps falling as it has been, there going to be a repeat of flooding in the area in 2015-16.

Donal Hynes who farms near Annacotty, Co Limerick estimates that he lost a quarter of his productive land for the year due to winter flooding in 2016. Picture: Sean Curtin/Fusionshooters.
Donal Hynes who farms near Annacotty, Co Limerick estimates that he lost a quarter of his productive land for the year due to winter flooding in 2016. Picture: Sean Curtin/Fusionshooters.

"We are about 2.5ft from that. The water rose 1 inch again last night," he said.

There are now road closures and diversions in place in Athlone, Ballinasloe and several areas in the mid-west.

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Galway County Council also set up flood protection barriers in two areas of Ballinalsoe that are prone to flooding.

Iarnród Éireann said that bus transfers will be in operation between Limerick and Ennis from until further notice because of flooding at Ballycar, an area that has seen a number of significant flood events in recent years.

Met Éireann said that tonight will be mild and cloudy with patchy rain and drizzle, fresh west to south-west winds and no frost.

Tomorrow will have persistent rain in northern areas at first, but otherwise just scattered outbreaks of rain, with some dry periods also.

Afternoon temperatures will be between 10C and 13C.

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