Tuesday 20 March 2018

Video: Worst of weather over with mild weekend ahead

Clodagh Sheehy and Niall O’Connor

THE torrential rain and high tides of recent days will calm down to give way to a relatively dry weekend, according to weather experts.

Very mild conditions are likely to persist for the next few days with rain or drizzle at times.

The last of three exceptionally high tides hit Dublin in the early hours of this morning without causing major damage.

Dublin City Council, which recorded the eighth highest tide ever at the Alexandra Basin at Dublin Port at lunchtime yesterday, kept all kinds of preventative measures in place overnight.

These included closing the Liffey Boardwalk defences and the car parks at Sandymount promenade and Clontarf.

Flood defences on the River Tolka were put in place, the flood gates on the River Dodder were closed and drainage crews remained on alert overnight.

Cork was worst hit yesterday, with large parts of the city impassable, and there was also flooding in Wexford, south Kerry, Offaly and Laois.

Motorists around the country were still being warned to take care on flooded roads but today, despite a wet start to the morning, conditions overall had greatly improved.

Tomorrow will be drier all over with just a few light showers, although temperatures will be slightly lower than usual for October.

By Saturday many places will be dry and bright, putting the winter squalls of this week firmly into the past.

Temperatures will rise to between 11 and 14C with light southerly winds.

Sunday too will be dry apart from some drizzle in western coast areas and, coming out of the weekend, Monday will start off mainly dry but rain will spread across the country during the day with strengthening winds.

Meanwhile, Cork breathed a sigh of relief today after suffering more flooding last night when high tide passed off without incident.

The city centre was under a foot of water and some businesses suffered minor flooding in the South Mall area.

The floods lasted for an hour before receding and this morning roads on quaysides were closed to traffic as a precaution.

Last night rush hour commuters were confronted with as much as two feet of water across Cork city centre and coastal towns.

It was Cork’s fourth incidence of major flooding in the last twelve months as city streets were filled with water.

Twice yesterday, at high tide, Streets in Cork city were under as much as two feet of water as flood water blighted the city.

Cork City Council were reporting that areas at Morrisons Quay, Lavitts Quay, Lapp’s Quay, Fr Matthew Quay, Merchant Quay and Union Quay were all impassable.

These areas are major traffic zones for morning and evening rush hour and the flooding meant major delays for commuters.

Luckily many businesses were prepared for the flooding and put flood defenses in place however Council officials said that businesses were “bound to be affected”.

On Tuesday evening sandbags and specialist flood barriers were placed in front of premises across the city.

South Terrace in the city centre was closed off as water from the nearby river poured over a wall.

The South Mall, Cork’s main business district, was hit by several centimetres of water as high tide crept into the city centre.

Padraig O’Riordain of Redmayne Stockbrokers on the South Mall spoke about the threat to his business on the South Mall.

“We’ve been here before. The South Mall is notorious for it.

“You can’t get insurance here for flooding. There is always the fear with high tide again this evening that it could get worse, It depends on the rain really,” he said.

Across County Cork towns and villages in coastal areas were struck by the flooding.

In Youghal Gardaí were operating a diversion as water was pouring over the quay wall – with the Coastguard assisting in efforts to help motorists and householders.

Bantry town was flooded during high tide as sea water rushed over the quayside and into parts of the town.

The Timoleague to Courtmacsherry road was impassable and low lying streets in Kinsale were underwater.

Local sources reported waves breaking over the coastal road.

County Council workers and the fire service were working to clear flood waters from Carrigaline’s Main Street.

In Cobh the main road accessing Great Island at Bevelly was flooded and waves were breaking over the walls of the roadway.

Michael Sheehan of the water services section of Cork city Hall said that text and email alerts worked well to warn businesses.

He added that Council officials will be watching out for further flooding in the coming days.

“The same places are expected to be affected with ssurface water.

“We’ll be keeping in touch with the Office of Public Works throghout today to monitor the situation,” he said.

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