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 email@example.com
- Defence Forces deploying 30 personnel to assist locals
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Locals said it was "very unusual" to witness the scale of flooding in the area.
Flooding around Co. Laois- all crews currently mobilised. pic.twitter.com/oVg1nyMKBn— Laois Fire & Rescue (@LaoisFireRescue) November 22, 2017
Some pictures of flooding around the county. All of our crews are currently in attendance at incidents. pic.twitter.com/FHt5M73BIZ— Laois Fire & Rescue (@LaoisFireRescue) November 22, 2017
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.
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.
Teams assisting with the evacuation of people from their homes due to flooding in Mountmellick at the moment. pic.twitter.com/fw3AT4hdFN— Laois Civil Defence (@LaoisCivilDefen) November 22, 2017
Local paper Leinster Express reported yesterday evening that people are using blankets and duvets to stop water entering their homes.
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