A STATUS YELLOW weather warning remains in place as the clean-up following Storm Frank continues.
A wind warning is in place for Wexford, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Waterford.
There has been widespread flooding across the country and at one point 13,000 homes or businesses without power. EBS has said this figure is now at about 4,600.
The main areas still affected are:
There will be further periods of heavy rain and wind in the coming days. Temperatures are also expected to fall tonight and tomorrow.
The ESB said gale force winds caused damage to the electricity infrastructure across the country. Falling trees and timber were responsible for most of the damage.
The gale force winds also caused damage to an apartment block in Tallaght.
Up to 70 millimetres of rain fell in parts of the south and west coast while a car was blown into the Shannon due to strong winds.
The Defence Forces currently has 25 troops deployed in Cork between Bandon and Midleton to help tackle flooding there.
Midleton, which hasn’t been as badly hit by flooding as some other areas of Cork until now, is severely flooded with the Main street area under a lot of water.
Another 30 troops are in Thomastown, and eight engineers are assisting local authorities in Clare.
A spokesperson for the Defence Forces said troops are on standby in barracks near areas affected by the flooding, and will respond quickly to any request from a local authority for assistance.
Earlier gardaí said Bandon town centre was closed to traffic. Diversions and signage are in place to Cork City for a diversion around the bypass towards Ballylangley and into Innishannon.
HGVs are asked to avoid Bandon if possible for next few hours as there is a lot of surface water on both diversionary routes. The gardaí said Crossbarry to be used for vehicles coming from Enniskeane direction also.
Due to flooding in Killarney, gardaí had to assist Kerry Civil Defence teams with stranded elderly residents and motorists.
The National Coordination Group has once again convened in the (NECC) National Emergency Coordination Centre today to review the situation, with Ministers Alan Kelly and Simon Harris also visiting Athlone today.
Monitoring the situation
A statement from the group said that local authorities continue to respond in areas affected, and remain on standby and continue to monitor the situation in the areas where further flooding may occur.
“The local authority response and the necessary preparations are supplemented by the Defence Forces and other service providers when and where required.”
The public are advised to vigilant when travelling on roads as there may be local flooding and downed trees. Travelling at reduced speeds in the affected areas is also advised.
Rail services in the west and south have also been hit by flooding.
The ESB advises that, due to very substantial rainfall overnight associated with Storm Frank, flows from Inniscarra Dam increased to 250 cubic metres per second between 9am and midday today.
It said based on the rain forecast for the coming days, this may need increase above 250 cubicmetres per second later today or tomorrow.
This level of flow will lead to increased flooding downstream from the Inniscarra Dam.
We continue to closely monitor the situation and are in communication with the local authorities and response agencies in accordance with normal operating procedures.
Minister for Rural Affairs Ann Phelan told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke that Graiguenamanagh in Co Kilkenny is like a “warzone”.
We’ve had flooding in the past but I have never actually seen anything like this.
Phelan said that some residents had to be evacuated from their homes, and that the army is en route to the town.
“People are just devastated here this morning.”
The junior minister, who was out speaking to local residents, added that she believes it is important to hear “first hand, face-to-face” from those affected by the flooding.
However, she declined to comment on criticism facing Taoiseach Enda Kenny over his lack of visibility during recent flooding.
The town was left underwater after the River Duiske burst its banks. Levels on the Barrow are still rising.
Speaking to the same programme, Cork councillor Alan Coleman said that between 30 and 40 businesses are underwater in Bandon. He said local rivers are not due to reach their highest level for another three hours.
“The flooding will be worse than earlier this month,” Coleman said, adding that sandbagging and pumping is still taking place.
He said that it is now essential that businesses receive funding as soon as possible as this is the second time in a month they have been hit by severe flooding.
Athlone councillor Kevin “Boxer” Moran said locals are still battling to keep the waters out, with as many as 19 men working on the strand last night, manning pumps.
While flood waters have been mostly held off, locals are living in fear of the waters rising further, he said.
Fianna Fáil councillor Margaret Murphy O’Mahony said in a statement that people in west Cork feel “completely let down by the Government”.
“What people feel the most frustrated about is the fact that the Government has been completely invisible over the last few days despite the countless warnings issued by Met Éireann,” he said.
Why hasn’t the Taoiseach called an emergency cabinet meeting to coordinate the response to this latest flooding? People’s lives are being ruined here yet there doesn’t seem to be any urgency from the Government in wanting to deal with this.
AA Roadwatch says flooding on roads remains an issue in many parts of the country following the severe weather.
Cork and Kerry arere worst affected and the RSA is advising motorists to exercise extreme caution.
AA Roadwatch have almost 30 road closures listed in Cork. In the city, these include:
- The Lee Rd is closed again due to flooding and there is also spot flooding around Carrigrohane.
- There is flooding on Station Terrace. The road is passable with care.
- Gardaí advise caution on all routes to and from Airport Hill especially on the stretch to the Kinsale Rd R/A
In Kerry, the N22 Killarney to Cork Rd has reopened at Glenflesk and is now passable with extra care. Here’s a full list of all the roads affected.
Meanwhile, ESB has confirmed that the flow of water through Parteen Weir will remain at 440 cubic metres per second today.
It was increased from 405 cubic metres per second yesterday.
ESB also warned that water levels in Lough Derg could potentially reach 2009 levels of 500 cubic metres per second in the days ahead.
Limerick City and County Council says there has been no significant flooding in Limerick arising from overnight rainfall but that water levels along the Lower River Shannon are continuing to increase.
A number of ferry sailings were also cancelled overnight due to the adverse weather. Storm Frank also caused havoc in Northern Ireland, Northern England and Scotland.
Winds reached 80 miles per hour in parts of the North and up to 5,000 homes were without power at one point overnight. A bridge in north Yorkshire in England collapsed into a river due to a swollen river.
Originally published 7.15am. Additional reporting by Nicky Ryan, Sinéad O’Carroll Christina Finn, Cormac Fitzgerald and Órla Ryan