Thursday 22 February 2018

Nightmare for commuters as road and rail links disrupted

Paul Melia

TRANSPORT chaos continued across Dublin and Wicklow yesterday as council workers struggled to reopen roads and keep traffic moving after the floods.

Some of the major routes into the capital were closed for much of yesterday while rail and Luas services were either cancelled or delayed after record amounts of rainfall on Monday.

Widespread flooding meant some roads remained underwater yesterday, while one of the main routes into the city -- Wolfe Tone Quay -- was reduced to one lane of traffic because of structural damage.

The Lacken Gap in Wicklow was impassable and gardai advised motorists to avoid unnecessary journeys in Ballyknockan, while the N81 Dublin to Blessington Road was closed.

Conditions were also poor in Laois, Carlow, Kildare, Meath (especially around Slane), Kilkenny, Longford, Cavan and Kerry.

A spokesman for Dublin City Council said the Wolfe Tone Quay wall was hanging over the water, having moved up to 100mm over a 30-metre stretch. The entire wall has to be assessed before the quay can be fully reopened to traffic.

"Our people are carrying out a structural assessment," he said. "Our first question is, is it in imminent danger of collapse? Or is it stable?"

Council workers used high-capacity pumps to remove water from some of the busiest roads into the city including the N11, N4 and N81 to Blessington, but there were still major disruptions to public transport services.

Iarnrod Eireann, DART and commuter services were hit by delays while the Luas Green Line to Sandyford was closed yesterday afternoon because a sub-station at Dundrum was under 30ft of water.


"There are two big areas being worked on," the city council spokesman added.

"We're using high capacity pumps at the Luas terminal and the River Poddle flooded at Parnell Road so there's a lot of standing water there."

Two railway stations were closed at Bayside and Drumcondra because of flooding, while Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus services were diverted away from flooded roads causing some delays.

While weather conditions improved over the day, roads remained affected by spot flooding and some were closed in places.

In Monaghan, more than 100 families were evacuated from the town of Ballybay amid fears of an explosion after a wall collapsed near gas storage tanks.

Gardai closed all routes leading into the town with children and the elderly accommodated at a local care centre.

Three nursing homes in Dublin were evacuated, while residents of an apartment complex and hospice in Harold's Cross were taken to safety.

The Dundrum Shopping Centre remained closed, apart from the Tesco supermarket.

Irish Independent

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