Friday 23 February 2018

Storm wreaks havoc in west

The sea pounds Salthill in Galway
The sea pounds Salthill in Galway
Jerome Reilly

Jerome Reilly

Storm Desmond, a hugely destructive combination of near hurricane-force winds and incessant rain, wreaked havoc across the entire western seaboard yesterday before sweeping eastwards across the country and the Irish Sea.

The province of Connacht, as well as Kerry, Cork and Donegal, got the worst of the 36-hour Atlantic onslaught.

The Defence Forces deployed Army personnel and vehicles to Cork and Kerry last night following requests from the local authorities in the region.

Roads over huge swathes of the country were impassable, homes were flooded and power cuts affected thousands.

Massive tracts of farmland were flooded or waterlogged, rivers burst their banks and emergency services struggled to cope with a deluge of calls.

Today, the great clean-up will begin, not just in Ireland but for our neighbours across the Irish Sea, where the northern part of Britain was also hit hard.

Last night fire crews were still battling to save homes in the north west as a month of rain fell in a day and a night of torrential downpours.

Homes in Donegal town, which were flooded just three weeks ago, were flooded again.

Met Eireann's Status Red Alert weather warning, its highest, issued well in advance of the storm's arrival around 6pm on Friday, was well heeded.

Shops and town centres were eerily quiet as Christmas shoppers heeded warnings to avoid non-essential travel and stay indoors.

Sunday Independent

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