Defence Forces on standby as flooding in Cork expected

Defence Forces on standby as flooding in Cork expected

Staff at the Cork County hall putting in the new water defences, which were placed around the County in preparation for the expected floods at the Carrigrohane road. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Update: Cork City Council has activated the city’s flood plan and has said the Defence Forces are on standby to deal with the expected flooding.

In an update this evening, Cork City Council said its Flood Response Group met this afternoon with Met Éireann, the ESB, An Garda Síochána and Bus Éireann in attendance. 

"The River Lee and its many tributaries ( including the Shournagh in Cloghroe, the Bride in Blackpool, the Curraheen) and the Glashaboy River through Glanmire and the Tramore River through Togher are likely to burst their banks due to rain levels and the current waterlogged nature of the ground. 

"This may lead to localised flooding," the council stated.

"This is a 48 hour event and we are asking property owners to be on alert from midnight tonight until Wednesday afternoon," the council continued.

Meanwhile, Cork County Council's Severe Weather Assessment Team convened again this afternoon.

In an update this evening the council said:

"Flood barriers in Fermoy and Mallow are being installed to their highest levels. 

"In Mallow, Longfields Bridge, and Park Road and in Killavullen, Killavullen Bridge will close when necessary.

"Pumps are being deployed in Bantry, Dunmanway, Skibbereen, Bandon, Clonakilty, N25 (east of Castlemartyr) and a JCB in Roscarbery. 

"Staff will be monitoring all known problem locations throughout the night, tomorrow and into Wednesday."

In Skibbereen, Rossa Road has closed with sandbags in place.

In Clonakilty, measures have been put in place at the end of the Timoleague road.

In Rosscarbery, culverts have been inspected and staff are on standby.

Earlier: Cork is bracing itself for further flooding with very heavy rain expected tonight and tomorrow.

This morning, Met Éireann issued a Status Orange rainfall warning, stating that "further river flooding and surface water flooding" is likely, with rainfall totals of 50mm to 80mm expected.

The weather warning will come into effect at 7pm tonight and will remain until 9pm tomorrow.

Cork City Council and Cork County Council have issued flood warnings ahead of this "very serious imminent weather event".

In a statement this afternoon, Cork City Council said this heavy rain "will likely cause significant surface water or ponding and will lead to hazardous driving conditions tonight and tomorrow".

"Furthermore, many of the rivers across the city will likely burst their banks due to the rain levels and current waterlogged nature of the ground. This may lead to localised flooding.

"We are advising people who live in areas all across the city prone to river flooding (not tidal flooding) to take active measures to protect their property," the council stated.

Cork City Council's director of operations, David Joyce, said sandbags and gel bags are available for people in areas prone to river flooding.

"People living and working in areas prone to river flooding are advised that sand bags and gels bags are available at our Anglesea Terrace depot and Tramore Valley Park civic amenity site up to 7pm tonight and again from 8am tomorrow, Tuesday," he said.

"Please avoid unnecessary journeys tomorrow. Don’t drive into flooded areas and please respect road closures," he added.

Meanwhile, Cork County Council has said it is at its "highest level of preparation has deployed crews to several known risk locations."

Workers are clearing inlets and gullies across the county, while sandbags and pumping arrangements are being put in place.

"Given recent rainfall and with ground already saturated, this forecasted heavy rainfall will further elevate river and groundwater levels and may result in river flooding. 

"The ESB Hydroelectric dam at Inniscarra is currently releasing water at approximately 150 cubic metres per second. Cork County Council has been advised that the discharge will increase beyond this level and this is likely to lead to flooding of roads, land and property downstream," the council's statement continued.

The council also stated that flood barriers have been erected in Fermoy and Mallow "with the early warning systems in place".

The Rossa Road in Skibbereen will be closed in order to facilitate the opening of an inlet.

County Council moved to advise motorists to exercise extreme caution as driving conditions may be hazardous with surface flooding possible or fallen trees and branches. 

"Motorists are advised to avoid driving through flowing or standing water and to exercise caution during heavy rain. "Motorists are also asked to be conscious of cyclists and pedestrians," the council said.

Cork County Hall will be closed to the public tomorrow and potentially Wednesday on a precautionary basis due to the risk of flooding. 

This is due to the predicted rainfall and saturated land in the catchment area of the river Lee.

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