Freak downpour after hot spell sees parts of town badly flooded
NEW ROSS Gardaí and Wexford County Council have issued urgent warnings to motorists following flooding in New Ross, following a freak downpour of rainfall in the town.
By 4.30 p.m. visibility was down to 50 metres in New Ross with motorists being advised by gardaí to be extra careful on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy bridge.
With thunder and lightning all afternoon, the skies opened shortly before 3.30 p.m., with large hailstones falling since 5 p.m.. Parts of the town became flooded, just as drivers were making their way home from work.
Gardaí set up checkpoints outside the town to ensure people weren’t taking to the roads.
Shortly before 6 p.m. Wexford County Council issued a severe flooding warning.
Drivers reported horrific scenes, saying they couldn’t believe they made it through the waters, while some vehicles were abandoned at the roadside.
"One car was blocked seemingly in a hole in the quay and there were cars that looked like they were floating in a car park,” one driver said.
A flood defence wall was completed for the town in 2017, accompanied with promises that the quay and town wouldn’t flood again, except in a once in a 200 year flood occurrence, but today’s flooding has arisen from the severity of the downpour and not from flooding from the river Barrow.
BY close of business, several New Ross shopkeepers were sweeping out the rain from their shops, including at North Quay, with most streets flooded.
"It was so bad there was a river running down at the Brandon House Hotel and a flood near the Apex,” one driver said.
Drivers were able to cross O’Hanrahan Bridge, with diversions in place up Charles Street. Damage was done to tarmacadam on the streets also.
Emergency services were out in force Monday night to assist people caught in the flooding, while council workers provided sandbags for businesses in expectation of further heavy rainfall.
Most of the town was left filthy with streets strewn with bark from the High Hill gardens, while numerous businesses saw store rooms, stock, furniture and ceilings damaged.