Storm Francis: West Cork 'destroyed' after recent weather, says local Senator

ireland
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Digital Desk staff

Additional reporting: Vivienne Clarke

West Cork has been "destroyed" over the last ten days after Storm Ellen and Storm Francis hit the region with destructive winds and heavy rain.

Severe flooding has been reported across Ireland after Storm Francis hit overnight with hundreds of homes and businesses without power.

West Cork in particular has been badly affected by the second storm in as many weeks, with flooding reported in Bantry and Bandon.

Local Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard said he had never seen weather conditions like it.

He said: "We've had something like 150mm of rainfall in the space of 10 days. We've had flooding in places like Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Ring, Bandon, Bantry".

"West Cork has been absolutely destroyed".

Met Éireann found several weather stations reporting more than 40mm of rainfall in the past 24 hours – with Cloone Lake in Co Kerry recording 86.2mm.

A status yellow rain warning remains in place across Connacht, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath and Meath until 9pm on Tuesday.

A status yellow wind warning is in effect for Munster, Dublin, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Wicklow until 7pm on Tuesday.

Waves crashing into the seafront at Tramore, Co Waterford. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Road safety

Meanwhile, drivers have been asked to take extra care on the roads with Storm Francis still affecting the country.

Brian Farrell, from the Road Safety Authority, said anyone setting out must be on their guard.

"You really do need to have your wits about you, expect the unexpected. Something you should be on the lookout for, especially if you are driving on some of the back roads or regional roads, is flooded roads. Do not drive through a flooded road, you don't know what it is covering up. It could be hiding a large pothole," he said.

John Donegan, senior engineer with Cork County Council, said that up to 50 homes and businesses in Bantry suffered damage during persistent heavy rain overnight.

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Local authority crews worked overnight to clear any damage caused when the the local drainage culvert system could not cope, with up to 25mm of rain falling within two hours, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

New Street, Main Street, Barrack Street and the Square in Bantry were the worst affected with council crews and local fire brigade services working with residents and business owners to clean up debris and pump any remaining flood water.

Crews will remain in place today assessing the culvert system, he said. High tides will not be a concern this week as they were last week, but a yellow wind warning remains in place he pointed out.

Measures carried out in Skibbereen after flooding during Storm Ellen last week held with no flooding occurring, said Mr Donegan.

“We’ve been very unlucky that the rain has been so intense and localised.”

Met Éireann meteorologist Linda Hughes told Morning Ireland that the worst of the storm is over, but warned that the northern half of the country will see heavy rainfall until late this evening and heavy, persistent rain in Connacht and Ulster may lead to flash flooding. Further flooding could be expected in Munster as rainfall comes down from high grounds.

Heavy rainfall in August was not unprecedented, said Ms Hughes, as conditions were influenced by the hurricane season.

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