Unsettled weather set to continue

Flooding in the Lee Estate in Limerick yesterday. Picture: Niall Carson, PA

Met Éireann is warning of a continued risk of flooding after high tides and strong winds yesterday left hundreds of homes and businesses flooded.

The west and south-west of the country was worst affected, with elderly residents in Limerick having to be evacuated from their homes by boat after the river Shannon burst its banks and several feet of water swamped homes.

A clean up operation is now underway and local councils are providing emergency accommodation.

High tide came and went at 8am this morning in Limerick with no new reports of flooding, a spokesperson for Limerick City Council said.

"Flooding in the city has been described as unprecedented," the spokesperson added.

"Flood defences had been put in place in the most vulnerable locations but were unable to cope with a combination of torrential rain, high tides and strong winds."

Limerick City and County Manager Conn Murray is to meet local public representatives later this

morning to brief them on developments.

"Nobody in the city, not even the oldest resident of King’s Island, can ever recall such severe flooding," Mr Murray said.

"We had our preparations made and had been working to shore up defences for days in the areas considered most at risk of flooding in the city and county but the volume of water was such that many of our defences were simply unable to cope."

Meteorologist Jean Byrne said there is no end in sight to the storms.

"Our forecasts go up to about 10 days ahead and I'm afraid it seems like there's just one very active system after the other coming in from the Atlantic," said Jean.

"So there's no improvement on the horizon, as far as we can see."

Meanwhile the coastguard is reminding people that taking photos of the storm can be highly dangerous.

Rescue workers say many people are putting themselves at risk trying to catch a shot of breaking waves.

"In relation to people who want to take photographs of this very rough weather and the huge seas breaking, (they) should be extremely careful to remain safe at all times," said Declan Geoghegan of the Irish Coastguard.

"These waves breaking onto the shoreline will very quickly sweep you out to sea."


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