Flood-hit areas face more havoc as clouds move in

Paul Melia

FLOOD-hit householders in Cork and Galway face the prospect of even heavier rainfall today.

Rain and strong winds will batter the country from early morning and although there will be some respite in the middle of the day, more rain will follow.

Met Eireann forecaster Vincent O'Shea last night warned of a real risk of flooding in the Shannon catchment area, which has escaped the brunt of the weather so far. And he said that the weather would remain unsettled until the weekend, with temperatures expected to fall.

"There's another weather system coming in overnight," Mr O'Shea said.

"Rain and strong winds will have spread countrywide by this morning. The rain will probably cease for a few hours in the morning, with the Midlands dry.

"The system will hover over the west coast and the areas already worst affected will get the worst of the rain," he said.

"Coastal counties in the south and west could get up to 25mm of rain, which will make flooding worse. There will be strong gale force winds on the west coast, which will affect the Shannon area.

"Estuaries on the west and south, in particular the Shannon, will be affected," he said.

"Water levels in the Shannon are high and with further rainfall and big seas forecast, there's a real danger the Shannon catchment area could be at risk of flooding.

"The rain will move from west to east tonight and should clear by midnight. After that we should have two decent days of drying with two showery days in the west and north. The midlands, east and south should be dry."

Tomorrow and Thursday will be cold, there will be wintry showers in the north west by Friday and some sharp ground frost in the midlands, which could lead to icy roads.