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Saturday 25 November 2017

High winds and rough seas hit west coast as storm moves in

The sea pours over the road at Seapoint in Salthill, Galway, yesterday evening due to high tides and wind
The sea pours over the road at Seapoint in Salthill, Galway, yesterday evening due to high tides and wind

Paul Melia, Brian McDonald and Ralph Riegel

HIGH winds and rough seas battered the western coastline last night as a storm swept in from the Atlantic.

Spot flooding occurred in many low-lying areas, but the region largely escaped the predicted flooding from spring tides.

A section of Salthill promenade in Galway was closed for a number of hours as a precaution, with city council workers and gardai diverting traffic through Salthill village instead.

Motorists were warned throughout the day to be particularly vigilant, with the strong winds and debris making driving conditions difficult.

Water levels at Galway Docks and the Claddagh Basin were particularly high around tea-time, but the area was avoided by pedestrians.

Extensive sand-bagging was in place at the Spanish Arch, Quay Street and Flood Street and will remain in place until today, before predicted stormy conditions ease later tonight.

In Cork, minor flooding hit parts of the city centre last night. Flooding was reported shortly after 6pm at Penrose Quay, the South Terrace and Sharman-Crawford Street at the peak of the high tide.

However, the floods were described as relatively minor and caused no major damage.

Motorists have been warned not to park their cars in areas prone to flooding and gardai have urged drivers to exercise extreme caution on the roads.

Some 400 members of the Defence Forces are ready to assist local authorities in areas most at risk, with the danger period due to last until 6pm today.

Met Eireann last night issued a severe weather warning, saying that a low-pressure system and high tides could result in waves of up to 10-metres high hitting the west and south-west coasts.

But a forecaster said while there was a risk of coastal flooding because of low pressure and high tides, it was not a certainty. Strong winds were due to ease by early this morning.

Vigilant

"There's an area of low pressure moving down on Monday," she said. "High tides are around 4.1-metres but with the low pressure you're getting an additional half-a-metre. This is why the local authorities are being vigilant. You'll still have that on the east coast tomorrow.

"There's a very high sea swell on the Atlantic coast. There's very big waves, six to 10 metres. We would advise against people going out to look at the waves. It's terribly dangerous. You do hear of people being washed away and it's avoidable."

The Army has put troops and equipment on standby, with personnel, vehicles, aircraft, boats and specialist equipment prepared for deployment.

Dublin City Council warned householders and property owners there was a risk of flooding, particularly in Clontarf and Sandymount, and car parks on the seafront were closed.

St John's Road East; Gilford Road; Gilford Avenue; Lea Road; New Grove Avenue; Seafort Avenue; and Marine Road (at the junction of Beach Road) were closed from noon yesterday. Other roads could be closed at short notice.

Limerick City Council dep-loyed sand bags around the city's quays, while Greystones in Co Wicklow was also put on alert.

Irish Independent

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