Weather-weary Ireland set to swap snow worries for flood warnings
A WEATHER-weary nation will swap snow worries for flood concerns with tidal warnings in place for Dublin, the eastern seaboard and south-west.
Dublin has already seen problems with Irish Rail's Dart southbound services suspended yesterday due to flooding at both Salthill and Dun Laoghaire.
Cork city is also on high flood alert due to the combination of high spring tides and a predicted sea surge from Storm Emma.
County towns including Midleton and Youghal are also set to experience coastal flooding over the next 72 hours.
Irish Water Safety also warned people to be extremely careful near streams, rivers and exposed coastal areas with melted snow volumes likely to see many waterways surge to near-flood levels.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) warned its advisory notice over high tides will remain in place until Monday.
"OPW continues to monitor sea levels and storm surge conditions over the coming days," OPW official Jim Casey said.
"The highest tides will be on Friday and Saturday, especially the first tides. The following locations are considered most at risk - Cork city and harbour area, and the low-lying areas on the Cork and Waterford county coastlines."
"On the east coast, Dundalk Bay, Dublin Bay, Wexford Harbour area and Wicklow. On the south-west, the Shannon estuary and Limerick city.
"The critical time (today) is high water at 5.30am in Cork harbour and city, 11.30am in Dundalk, 7am in Wexford, the Shannon Estuary and Limerick."
Cork City Council said it was hopeful the tidal flooding would be restricted to causing traffic problems rather than residential damage.
The council issued an alert as it warned high spring tides from yesterday to Monday, combined with strong south-easterly winds, could result in tidal flooding in low-lying parts of the city centre.
"There is a significant risk of tidal flooding in the city," a spokesperson said.
"It is likely that flooding will occur in the low lying areas of the city centre, in particular on Morrison's Quay, Fr Mathew Quay, Fr Mathew Street, Union Quay, Trinity Bridge, South Terrace, Lavitts Quay, Kyrls Street, Kyrls Quay, Crosses Green, Sharman Crawford Street and Wandesford Quay."
However, there is only a lower risk of flooding in other parts of the city centre including the South Mall, Lapps Quay, McSwiney Quay, Albert Quay, Lower Glanmire Road and French's Quay.
Cork ranks as Ireland's most flood-prone city with a 140m flood defence scheme only now getting started.
The main risk of tidal flooding will be at 5am and 6pm today, 6am and 6.45pm tomorrow, 7am and 7.23pm on Sunday and 7.45am on Monday.
Local authorities urged property owners in low-lying areas to take note of the spring tide warnings.
"Property owners in the affected areas may be liable to flooding and are advised to take all necessary precautions to protect their properties," the spokesperson added.