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'We're amateur meteorologists at this stage': Locals fear further flooding along Shannon after overnight rain

13.6 mm of rain was recorded at Shannon Airport yesterday.

Flooding in Clare yesterday.
Flooding in Clare yesterday.
Image: David Raleigh

RESIDENTS IN CLARE and other counties near the Shannon are expecting further flooding as heavy rainfall continued last night but is expected to clear later today. 

Met Éireann said there was widespread heavy rain overnight last night with spot flooding. The rain turned to sleet and snow for a time in parts of Connacht, north Leinster and Ulster, before returning to rain. 

The forecaster said residual patches of rain and drizzle will give way to clearer conditions and showers extending from the west this morning. The weather is set to brighten with sunny spells developing. 

Speaking on Clare FM’s Morning Focus today, Springfield resident Geraldine Quinlivan said the water near her home is approaching her driveway and has risen by two inches since last night. 

Geraldine and Joe Quinlivan live a mile and a half from the River Shannon. 

“We have had some families that have had to move out… They chose to go because they didn’t have a way of getting in and out of the house,” said Quinlivan. 

“The misery and the mental and physical torture that we endure down here is unreal to be honest.” 

Quinlivan said the local community is sending information about rainfall recordings by text and learning how to read water analysis.

We’re amateur meteorologists at this stage. 

Tonight is expected to be very cold across the country, with clear spells and scattered showers particularly in the west. There is a risk of snow showers especially on high ground and a risk of thunder, mainly on northwest coasts. 

Tomorrow will be cold and windy, with some sunny spells and scattered blustery showers, possibly of hail and sleet. There will be a continued risk of thunder, mainly on northwest coasts.  
13.6 mm of rain was recorded at Shannon Airport yesterday. The highest level yesterday was recorded in Mace Head where 14.4 mm of rainfall was recorded, followed by 13.9 mm in Athenry.   

All Met Éireann warnings for specific counties have ended at this stage. Two marine warnings – a Status Yellow gale warnings and Status Yellow small craft warning – remain in place. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister of state with responsibility for flooding Kevin Boxer Moran will be travelling to Athlone and Carrick-on-Shannon to see flood defence preparations later today. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, Moran said he wants to see an emergency scheme put in place for farmers affected by flooding.

“I’ve never seen the Shannon a week away from March at the level it is at today,” Moran said. 

The former TD said the rain “never stopped from half eight last night” and that it was a “very tough night”. 

“People will wake up this morning in the Athlone area with water on the roads… I know the anger of the farmers, I can see it. The land has been saturated since last August.” 

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Roads flooded

Warnings about flooded roads have been issued by councils around the country, particularly in western areas. 

No houses have flooded in Athlone and flood defences with pumps are protecting homes in certain areas from being directly struck by rising levels of the Shannon, Shannonside FM reported this morning. 

Clare County Council crisis management team met yesterday and said they were constantly monitoring the situation with regard to rising water levels in Springfield, Co Clare. 

Galway County Council has advised people to drive with extreme caution this morning. 

Roads affected by the flooding in Galway county are

  • The N59 from Oughterard to Maigh Cuillin
  • The road from Maigh Cuillin to An Spedéal
  • Bad flooding on the old road from Loughrea to Ballinasloe. 
  • Bad flooding on the N65 from Portumna to Loughrea
  • On the N83, the road is flooded near Corinthians

In Mayo, the county council said there is flooding

  • On the Neale crossroads where water has risen by over 300 mm
  • On the Kilmaine Road and Main Road. They are impassable “under any circumstances”
  • The Clonbur Road is also impassable with multiple flooding locations. Local diversions are being set up this morning

Offaly County Council said last night it would be monitoring river levels in the county and preparing to deploy defence measures if necessary during the week. 

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