Saturday 17 August 2019

Pictured: Shocked families' flooded homes as more heavy showers forecast

  • 'It's unreal' - community in shock as town of Mountmellick floods
  • Laois town underwater in 'worst flooding people have seen'
  • Several roads remain impassable nationwide
  • Met Éireann forecast more thundery showers nationwide ahead of a cold snap
  • Independent.ie photographs show devastation in Laois town of Mountmellick
  • Floods in your area? Send you pictures to contact@independent.ie
  • Defence Forces deploying 30 personnel to assist locals
Paul Dempsey, Chairman of Mountmellick Development Association in the Main Street of Mountmellick, Co. Laois.
Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Paul Dempsey, Chairman of Mountmellick Development Association in the Main Street of Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Flooding in the Main Street of Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Fire services at flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Fire services at flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Flooding in the Main Street of Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
An ambulance drives through the floods in the Main Street of Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Pauline Delaney in her flooded kitchen during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
A flooded kitchen in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Pauline Delaney sweeps water from her house during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
A flooded hair salon in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
The cleanup begins during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Fire services at flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Fire services at flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Supervalue manager Donal Hickey during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Sisters Jessica and Kasia Cleary during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
The Mop Shop during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Heading back out to help remove residents from the flooding at the Manor Road, Mountmellick. Photo Kevin Byrne
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Workers try to clear a flood on the Citywest slip road off the M7 motorway
Traffic drives through floods on the Longmile Road in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

More widespread and thundery showers are forecast for the day ahead as up to 1,000 people were affected by heavy floods overnight.

In the midlands, dozens of families were evacuated from their homes as widespread rain and flooding caused chaos nationwide.

Several roads remain impassable nationwide this morning, and the town of Mountmellick, Co Laois is cut off from the surrounding roads following severe flooding.

In Dublin, the Malahide/Clongriffin Road is still impassable, as is the Chapel Road.

Now, Met Éireann are forecasting "widespread heavy and local thundery showers for a time, some turning wintry."

The rain comes ahead of a "very cold night", with frost setting in soon after dark this evening and becoming more severe as the night progresses.

Flooding in the Main Street of Mountmellick, Co. Laois.
Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Flooding in the Main Street of Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017

Commuters and motorists are being warned ahead of icy roads on Friday morning.

Today, families in Laois are waking up in hotels after they were evacuated from homes in two housing estates outside Mountmellick.

Pauline Delaney sweeps water from her house during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois.
Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Pauline Delaney sweeps water from her house during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017

All access routes to the estates were severed by the flood waters sparking the decision to evacuate.

The evacuation being undertaken as a precautionary measure amid fears of the homeowners being cut-off from vital services by the flood waters after after gullies around the River Owenass flooded following the torrential rainfall.

Paul Dempsey, Chairman of Mountmellick Development Association in the Main Street of Mountmellick, Co. Laois.
Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Paul Dempsey, Chairman of Mountmellick Development Association in the Main Street of Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017

According to Laois County Council 35 homes were evacuated last night.

Laois County Council triggered an emergency plan, evacuating many residents to nearby hotels.

Civil Defence and Fire Service crews were involved in the relief efforts.

All roads in the town were impassable during the height of the flooding.

Pauline Delaney in her flooded kitchen during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois.
Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Pauline Delaney in her flooded kitchen during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017

The Defence Forces released a statement this morning detailing how they are deploying 30 personnel to assist with flood relief works in the Mountmellick area of Laois.

The troops were deployed following a request from Laois County Council. They are set to bring specialist equipment to assist in flood defence, mobility and clean up taskings.

The cleanup begins during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois.
Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
The cleanup begins during the flooding in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017

Locals said it was "very unusual" to witness the scale of flooding in the area.

Kieran Kehoe, director of services with Laois County Council, told Newstalk Breakfast how the flooding in Mountmellick is somewhat of a “freak incident”.

“We have three rivers that originate from the Slieve Bloom mountains; the Barrow, the Owenass and the Blackwater. All the water fell into those rivers and they converge in Mountmellick and that’s why the extent of the flooding was so bad.

“It has never happened to this extent before. With the convergence of the rivers, we would normally be on high alert. That was the case this time, we did our usual preparation but the unprecedented rainfall had a detrimental effect on the town.

“We evacuated just over 35 houses yesterday.”

Officials believe that the scale of the flooding locally is the worst in living memory.

Parts of the Laois town currently resemble a river as flood waters poured across roads and fields.

Two local schools were forced to close early amid safety concerns.

St Patrick's Boys National School and St Joseph's Girls National School were forced to close when it was discovered that the downstairs toilets in both schools had overflowed, causing a sewage overflow.

Infirmary Road on Wednesday morning - picture submitted by Andy Maher
Infirmary Road on Wednesday morning - picture submitted by Andy Maher
Picture submitted by Elaine Herlihy via Twitter
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Traffic drives through floods on the Longmile Road in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 22/11/2017
Traffic drives through floods on the Longmile Road in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017
Cars make their way through floods on the Kerdiffstown in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin 22/11/2017

It is believed more than 40mm of rain fell in a 12 hour spell around Mountmellick and its hinterland with local culverts, streams and rivers totally unable to cope with the downpour.

Local Fianna Fáil Councillor Patrick Bracken said the floods in Mountmellick were "unreal."

"I've never ever seen floods as bad as this in Mountmellick. The flooding is very bad all over the town," he said.

"It's two feet deep in places. It's unreal. It's the worst people have ever seen," said the local politician, who spoke of wading through the flood waters in the streets of the County Laois town.

He said that the worst fears had been realised of flood waters entering homes in the town.

"All the services are out trying to deal with it, including the fire service, the council staff, the civil defence and others.

"It's been a terrible night," he said.

Local paper Leinster Express reported yesterday evening that people are using blankets and duvets to stop water entering their homes.

  • Are there floods or traffic delays near you? Please send us your photos by e-mailing contact@independent.ie or on our Facebook page

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