Midleton locals started to clean up yesterday after the floods from Storm Babet hit the town hard Alamy

Status Orange rainfall warnings in place in Dublin and Wicklow

The risk of flooding in Midleton, Co Cork has lowered.

LAST UPDATE | Oct 20th 2023, 2:58 PM

MET ÉIREANN HAS issued Status Orange rainfall warnings for Co Dublin and Co Wicklow with immediate effect.

Heavy rains are hitting many parts of the country again today, with the Status Orange warning in place in the two counties until 8am tomorrow.

Met Éireann is warning that spells of heavy rain may bring flooding, dangerous driving conditions and poor visibility.

A Status Yellow warning is in place in Louth and Meath until 9pm this evening, with a similar warning from the UK Met Office in effect for all of Northern Ireland until 9am tomorrow. 

In Cork, the county council asked the public earlier today to avoid the centre of Midleton due to a “significant” risk of further flooding after the town was ravaged by floods earlier this week.

However, the council says that risk has now subsided as the peak tide time has passed.

Parts of Cork faced knee-high flooding on Wednesday due to heavy rainfall from Storm Babet, particularly the town of Midleton, where members of the Defence Forces were deployed as buildings flooded and roads were cut off. 

Met Éireann had implemented Status Orange rainfall warnings on Wednesday for Cork, Kerry, Wexford, Wicklow and Waterford, representing “quite dangerous” conditions as Storm Babet hit.

The community was reeling from the effects yesterday as residents and business owners surveyed the damage caused by the storm. 

Cork County Council has received reports of properties flooded in Cobh, Mogeely, Ballinhassig and Glounthaune.

Road flooding has been reported in the following areas: Ballyspillane and R630, Midleton, Leamlara to Carrigtwohill, Ardskeagh Ballyhea, Castlelyons, Conna Village, Newberry to Mallow, Buffers Cross, Liscarroll to Buttevant, Liscarroll to Bog Cross, Ballyhea, Ballyclogh, Kilcoolishal Estate, Glounthaune, Water Rock, Shournagh Line at Foxes Bridge, Glen Road, Passage West, Ballea Road an Main Street and Carrigaline.

The council is asking members of the public to exercise “extreme caution” as driving conditions may be hazardous, with surface flooding possible.

It is advising motorists to avoid driving through flowing or standing water and to exercise caution during heavy rain, and to be especially conscious of vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.

Emergency services are present in the area and are conducting door-to-door visits in the estate for residents’ safety.

“Cork County Council continues to monitor the situation wishes to advise residents and businesses in the town to be alert to the possibility of rapidly unfolding events in the coming hours,” the council said.

“The emergency coordination group is meeting in Midleton this morning. We will continue to advise of developments.”

In Dublin, the City Council’s Flood Assessment Group met this morning and the local authority said additional crews would be assigned to deal with any flooding.

The River Dodder’s flood gates have also been closed to prepare for any possible flooding, with the council saying they will reopen on Saturday.

The risk of flooding is expected to become more frequent and more intense as climate change destabilises Ireland’s weather systems.

The Climate Action Plan 2023 outlined that the “most immediate risks to Ireland from climate change are predominantly those associated with changes in extremes, such as floods, droughts, and storms”.

Several roads that were closed to traffic yesterday due to floods have reopened or are due to reopen to traffic today.

However, there has been “significant damage to our road infrastructure across the county, particularly in the southern extremes”, Cork County Council’s Niall Healy told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland.

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