Wednesday 21 February 2018

Flooding causing problems for commuters following torrential rain and gale force winds

Children able to make snowmen, while sleet and more than 70mm of rain cause mayhem on roads

Cork city floods Credit: Dylan Philpott
Cork city floods Credit: Dylan Philpott
The top of Slieve Liag in Donegal. Photo: Stephanie Ní Uaithnigh
The top of Slieve Liag in Donegal. Photo: Stephanie Ní Uaithnigh
The top of Slieve Liag in Donegal. Photo: Stephanie Ní Uaithnigh
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Snow, sleet, torrential rainfall and gale force winds left a trail of destruction as the weather suddenly veered from spring-like to stormy.

More than 70mm of rain fell yesterday as an Atlantic front swept over Ireland and temperatures plummeted.

Counties in the south and west witnessed snow and sleet showers, with children in Dingle and Millstreet actually able to make snowmen.

Sleet and snow showers were blamed for a number of serious accidents in Clare, Limerick, Tipperary and Galway.

Credit: Met Eireann
Credit: Met Eireann
Cork Credit: Jennifer Butler
Glen pier, Co. Kerry Credit: James Grandfield
Bray golf club 9th green Credit: Bray Golf course superintendent

Met Éireann's Joanna Donnelly said the south bore the brunt of the wintry conditions.

"The heaviest of the rain fell across Cork, particularly on hilly areas," she said.

Read more: Three weather warnings in place as torrential rain and gale force winds hit

The combination of heavy rainfall and high spring tides caused widespread flooding in both the city and county.

Cork city was hit by flooding at the 8am and 8pm high tides, with the brunt of the deluge focused on low-lying city areas, including parts of the quays.

However, flooding also occurred on Oliver Plunkett Street, the South Mall and South Terrace, with several parked cars stranded for a time.

While this was the fifth Cork city centre flood since 2009, no major property damage was reported on this occasion.

The severe weather also tore a 36ft yacht free of its moorings in Cork harbour and drove it aground on rocks at White Point outside Cobh.

Flood damage was also caused in a number of towns, including Youghal, Midleton and Clonakilty.

Last night's high tide resulted in flash flooding in Skibbereen with Bridge Street in the town closed to traffic. Damage was also caused to a number of low-lying properties.

Meanwhile, three Portuguese fishermen were rescued after their vessel lost power in terrible weather conditions and was driven onto rocks at the entrance to Kinsale harbour at Moneypoint last night.

The Status Orange weather alert remains in place until 8am today.

Credit: Orlaith Walsh
Credit: Orlaith Walsh
Newly engaged couple Paul O'Connor, from Killorglin, and Aisling Coyne, from Corn na Mona in Co Galway, at Moll's Gap outside Killarney in Co Kerry Photo: Don MacMonagle
Karen D in Galway Credit: Twitter

Traders have repeatedly warned that the proposed €50m flood plan for Cork city urgently needs to be accelerated.

Ireland's most flood-prone city won't have its new protection scheme fully in place for another four years. Traders said they didn't believe construction work would begin until 2017 - meaning the flood-defence network won't be fully operational until 2019.

Cork Business Association chief executive Lawrence Owens expressed concern that traders have to wait so long before full protection is in place.

"The best 'guestimate' at this stage is that we may be in a construction phase some time around 2017," he said.

Read more: Three weather warnings in place as torrential rain and gale force winds hit

The extreme weather caused mayhem on roads all over the country.

Crashes were reported in Clare, Limerick, Tipperary and Galway following particularly heavy downpours of hail, while snow forced the closure of the N11 after a multi-vehicle crash on Saturday.

Another of the crashes, which happened between Athenry and Loughrea, involved a passenger bus heading to Dublin Airport. It is understood that the bus and a number of cars skidded following a heavy fall of hail.

In the east, there was a serious collision on the N11 near Kilmacanogue in Co Wicklow.

The route was closed to southbound traffic at the Bray South junction due to the multi-vehicle crash that occurred following heavy snowfall.

It will be somewhat brighter in Munster today. However, persistent rain will develop in eastern coastal counties during the morning. The further outlook to the weekend is for continued unsettled weather.

Irish Independent

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