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Saturday 21 July 2018

'A terrible night' - families evacuated due to 'unreal' flooding

  • Laois town underwater in 'worst flooding people have seen'
  • Dozens of homes evacuated
  • Motorists warned never to drive through flooded areas
  • People asked to delay their journey or use public transport
  • Status yellow weather warning in place in Munster and Leinster until 10pm
  • DART and commuter services delayed
  • Floods in your area? Send you pictures to contact@independent.ie
Heading back out to help remove residents from the flooding at the Manor Road, Mountmellick. Photo Kevin Byrne
Heading back out to help remove residents from the flooding at the Manor Road, Mountmellick. Photo Kevin Byrne
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Workers try to clear a flood on the Citywest slip road off the M7 motorway
Traffic drives through floods on the Longmile Road in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017

Ralph Riegel, Alan O'Keeffe and Laura Larkin

Dozens of families have been evacuated from their homes in Laois as widespread rain and flooding continue to cause chaos nationwide.

A precautionary evacuation has been ordered of homes in two housing estates outside Mountmellick in Laois after gullies around the River Owenass flooded following the torrential rainfall.

All access routes to the estates were severed by the flood waters sparking the decision to evacuate.

While there is no immediate flood threat to the houses, the evacuation is being undertaken as a precautionary measure amid fears of the homeowners being cut-off from vital services by the flood waters.

Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare.
Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017

According to Laois County Council 35 homes have been evacuated.

It is understood that the householders involved may be able to return to their homes within 12 to 24 hours, once the flood waters recede and the access roads again become passable.

In the interim, the families and individuals involved are being assisted with high-axle lorries and jeeps which are able to negotiate the water-covered roadways.

Gardaí and fire brigade officials are assisting at the scene.

Locals said it was "very unusual" to witness the scale of flooding in the area.

Officials believe that the scale of the flooding locally is the worst in living memory.

Traffic drives through floods on the Longmile Road in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 22/11/2017
Traffic drives through floods on the Longmile Road in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 22/11/2017

Parts of the Laois town currently resemble a river as flood waters poured across roads and fields.

Two local schools were forced to close early amid safety concerns.

It is believed more than 40mm of rain fell in a 12 hour spell around Mountmellick and its hinterland with local culverts, streams and rivers totally unable to cope with the downpour.

Parish priest Fr Mícheál Murphy said the situation escalated in the town at around 4pm on Wednesday evening.

"There is difficulty at the moment with water getting into homes and businesses around the town," he told Independent.ie.

"We won't know the full extent of the damage done and hardship caused until tomorrow."

Local Fianna Fáil Councillor Patrick Bracken said the floods in Mountmellick were "unreal."

"I've never ever seen floods as bad as this in Mountmellick. The flooding is very bad all over the town," he said.

"It's two feet deep in places. It's unreal. It's the worst people have ever seen," said the local politician, who spoke of wading through the flood waters in the streets of the County Laois town.

He said that the worst fears had been realised of flood waters entering homes in the town.

"All the services are out trying to deal with it, including the fire service, the council staff, the civil defence and others.

"It's been a terrible night," he said.

Meanwhile, residents in the Portarlington area have been advised that levels in the River Barrow are high as a result of the recent heavy rainfall and are expected to rise further over the next six hours.

Residents in areas vulnerable to flooding should take "sensible" precautions the council said.

An incident room has been set up.

Infirmary Road on Wednesday morning - picture submitted by Andy Maher
Infirmary Road on Wednesday morning - picture submitted by Andy Maher
Picture submitted by Elaine Herlihy via Twitter
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Traffic drives through floods on the Longmile Road in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 22/11/2017
Traffic drives through floods on the Longmile Road in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017

Local paper Leinster Express reports that people are using blankets and duvets to stop water entering their homes.

 

Separately gardaí have issued a warning to all drivers.

In a statement gardaí advised that two lanes are closed on the Chapelizod bypass outbound at Con Colbert Road due to floods.

Local authorities are at scene.

Long delays are anticipated on M4/N4 westbound as a result of flooding.

The N3 has re-opened after earlier diversions and traffic remains heavy.

A number of collisions on roads around the capital and elsewhere are adding to delays. Earlier collision on the M50 and on the M9 have been cleared but delays persist in the area as a result.

Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) are responding to reports of several cars stranded in floodwater in Portmarnock.

A status yellow warning remains in place until 10pm tonight for Munster and Leinster.

Gardaí are advising that if the road ahead is flooded drivers must use alternative routes if possible.

Motorists are warned not to drive through floods which may be deeper than they appear.

Where possible people have been asked to delay their journey or use public transport.

"People underestimate the force and power of water. They take unnecessary risks and their vehicle could be swept downstream. A mere half foot of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just a foot of rushing water to carry away a small car, while two foot of rushing water can carry away most vehicles," a garda spokesman said.

In Dublin the fire brigade also responded to floods in a housing estate in Tallaght and were able to prevent water from entering the homes.

In Dublin the Chapel Road is closed at the junction with Drumney Road due to flooding. The Malahide/Clongriffin Road is closed between Chapel Road and Blackwood Lane.

In Kildare the Naas/Newbridge DCW (R445/Old N7) will remain closed overnight between the Tougher roundabout and the Pfizer roundabout in Newbridge due to flooding.

There is also extensive flooding on a number of routes in the Rathangan area, including the Kildare Road.

Siobhan Ryan, meteorologist with Met Éireann, said the weather will turn colder tomorrow.

"It is much colder outside Leinster and Munster, with sleet expected for some time over Connacht and Ulster," she told RTE Radio One.

"As the rain begins to ease off, it will turn colder everywhere.

"We can expect some winter flurries early on tomorrow as the cold weather hits," she continued.

"The sun will be very low in the sky, so we're advising motorists to take care while out driving.

"Maximum temperatures are well below the average highs with temperatures of 5-9 degrees.

"Beyond that cold conditions will be persisting for the foreseeable future.

"We can expect some bitterly cold days to come and some crisp sunshine."

"Motorists are warned to expect deteriorating driving conditions on Thursday as the colder weather moves in and flooding persists," the Road Safety Authority said in a statement.

"Lower temperatures will mean roads may be icy with risk of black ice."

The body is reminding people to ensure their widows and mirrors are clean before setting out, to used dipped headlights when visibility is poor and to wear sunglasses to combat glare.

 

 

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.

  • Are there floods or traffic delays near you? Please send us your photos by e-mailing contact@independent.ie or on our Facebook page

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