Monday 18 December 2017

Snow and ice on way after freak flood chaos

Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

COUNCIL workers are on standby across the country as fears grow that further homes and businesses will be devastated by the freak weather that is continuing to batter the country.

Creaking flood defences have been pushed to the limit as a month's rain fell in just one day – and the horrendous conditions are set to be replaced by ice and snow today with the bad weather continuing until Monday.

The public has been warned to brace themselves for further chaos. Blizzard warnings are in effect for the weekend, with more flash flooding also expected.

The worst-hit area was Cork, and Cork City Council is to have emergency talks with the Office of Public Works (OPW) about a serious drainage problem that is being blamed for a second flash flood in just 10 months.

And in Dublin, there are "large amounts" of sandbags and staff in place in case the deluge continues and overwhelms the flood defences.

This morning, a number of businesses and homeowners are left counting the clean-up cost after floodwater swept in.

And many car owners who attempted to drive through floodwater are still waiting on their vehicles to be recovered.

Insurance companies are bracing themselves for an avalanche of claims – although they said that the damage was not as serious as that caused last June.

However, the extreme conditions caused misery for thousands of drivers who were stuck for hours along motorways as traffic ground to a halt.

The worst-affected road was the M11 motorway, with commuters facing threehour journeys to travel the 6km from Ballybrack to Bray.

Many abandoned their cars or ran out of petrol.

Flooding occurred around the country, affecting Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Kilkenny, Meath, Wexford,

In Cork a JCB is on standby to clear any heavy debris which washes downstream of the River Bride over the next 72 hours after a historic suburb of the city was left under 1.2 metres of water in just 15 minutes.

In Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, the Quays closed to traffic, and there were fears over a high tide which was due at 4am this morning.

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said last night: "We have a large supply of sand bags on standby just beside Beatty's Colleges in Ballsbridge as that's because we'll need to have everything in place if things take a turn for the worse.

"That's just a precautionary measure. If the weather deteriorates dramatically then we'll need to assess whether extra staff is needed.

"But we have a full complement of drainage staff in operation at the moment."

Irish Independent

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