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Yellow weather rainfall warning extended to eastern parts with 20 counties now affected

Met Éireann also warned of a risk of further flooding to parts of the country.

Image: Shutterstock/MAHATHIR MOHD YASIN

Updated Feb 23rd 2020, 5:39 PM

MET ÉIREANN HAS extended a yellow weather rainfall warning due to come into effect tonight to a further four counties. 

The national forecaster issued a warning yesterday for 15 counties along the west coast and midlands. It applied to all of Connacht as well as Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Clare and Tipperary. 

That warning, which is in effect from 8pm tonight until 8am tomorrow morning, has now also been extended to Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Limerick and Wicklow. 

There will also be a risk of snow on higher ground and in northern parts of the country. 

“A spell of rain tonight into Monday morning will lead to accumulations of between 20 to 25mm, with higher totals possible in upland areas,” it said. 

“The rain is likely to be preceded by a period of sleet and snow in parts of Connacht, Ulster and north Leinster, before turning to rain later in the night.

“As the ground is saturated at the moment and river levels are elevated the combined effect of rainfall and snow melt may lead to some localised surface and river flooding.

Parts of the midlands, and towns along the Shannon river, have come under pressure from flooding in recent weeks following Storms Ciara and Dennis. 

Limerick added to map 20 counties are now included in the yellow weather warning. Source: Met Éireann

Thousands of sandbags were delivered to homes in south-east Clare under threat of rising floodwaters after the river burst its banks between the ESB-operated Parteen Weir and Limerick.

Preparations have got underway around the country to mitigate against the impact of flooding and heavy rainfall in the coming hours. 

Staff from Westmeath County Council were on the ground installing defence measures, including an inflatable aquadam.

Minister of State at the Office of Public Works with responsibility for flooding, Kevin “Boxer” Moran, said the river’s water levels are expected to exceed the 10-year flood mark on Tuesday.

Mr Moran visited Athlone on Sunday where he tweeted a video of efforts to protect a house in Ballykeeran with sandbags and a pump.

He added that local authorities from Cavan to Limerick were on high alert.

Parts of the UK are under similar pressures with almost a months worth of rain falling within a few days late last week. 

While the rainfall warning is due to be lifted early tomorrow morning, Met Éireann is predicting further unsettled weather for the rest of the week. 

In its national forecast, it said: “Very cold and unsettled for the rest of the week, with occasional showers or longer spells of rain and some wintry precipitation of sleet and snow at times, especially in Ulster and Connacht. Some dry, bright intervals also. Frost at night.”

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