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'I've never seen the likes of it before': Clifden counting the cost of 'incredible' deluge with more rain forecast

A Status Yellow rainfall warning is in place for all of Connacht as well as Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.

Updated Sep 2nd 2020, 3:18 PM

AREAS IN THE west of the country are experiencing severe flooding as Met Éireann has forecast that between 25 to 35 mm could fall in some areas today. 

A Status Yellow rainfall warning is in place for all of Connacht as well as Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal. 

Most of the country is expected to experience heavy falls at some point today, with Met Éireann saying there is a risk of localised flooding.

Road closures are already in place in parts of Connemara, with the N59 between Clifden and Lennane currently closed and the same road down to one lane at Recess

There’s heavy flooding in the town of Clifden, with the Low Road and horse showgrounds next to the Owenglin River completely submerged.  

Fire services, gardaí, the RNLI as well as a number of volunteers are working in the aftermath of flooding which has been described by many as unprecedented. 

Brian Hughes, who is the manager of the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel in Clifden, said he has never seen a deluge like it. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Hughes said that flood defence systems were installed in 2014 but they were no match for the huge rainfall that hit Clifden overnight. 

“It’s just terrible. Absolutely awful. We’ve never seen our local river flood like this ever. I’ve lived in Clifden my whole life, I’ve never seen the likes of it before. 

“It’s been the most horrendous year. We’re doing out best to keep going and stay positive and try to look after customers. But it’s so difficult.”

Met Éireann’s  Keith Lampkin said that rainfall in Ireland this year has come in short bursts rather than spread out over a long period.

“It wasn’t just a wet June, July and August; it was an unusually dry March, April and May.

“But when you look at the whole year to date the amount of rain is in or around what we would normally expect but the pattern in how that rain has fallen, from a very, very dry spring to a quite wet summer, and that is what is causing the frustration,” he told News At One.

Emergency services are at the scene with several dramatic videos shared online showing the river running wildly this morning following last night’s deluge.

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Senior and former minister of state Seán Kyne described the images as “dochreidte”, or unbelievable. 

“Very bad flooding this morning in Clifden. Weather warning now in place. Supports will be needed, will be in contact with government ministers about this,” he tweeted

Connemara Chamber of Commerce has also shared images of the flooding and urged people to be cautious. 

“Parts of Connemara are very badly flooded. The fire brigade are working hard to keep everyone safe. Please do not put yourself in harms way. Please drive carefully and stay clear of flooded areas if you can,” the group shared on Facebook

With reporting by Garreth MacNamee

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Rónán Duffy

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