Downpours and flooding are to be expected across Cork all day tomorrow, as Met Eireann have issued a Status Orange rain warning for the county that will last from tonight until midnight tomorrow night.
Heavy rain is forecast across Cork, as well as Kerry, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow, with localised flooding likely, especially as groundwater levels are still elevated following Sunday’s heavy rain.
Kieran Hickey, senior lecturer and climatologist in UCC’s Geography Department, said that the near 55 millimetres of rain recorded by Cork Airport on Sunday was “very high”.
“Anything above 25mm is a lot in a day… and it looks like we’re in for a similar type amount of rainfall at least, again, in the next 48 or 72 hours,” he told The Echo.
“The only thing that probably saved us some big flooding is that we’ve had such a dry run in the last three or four months, there’s a bit of spare capacity in most of the river channels, and the ground… [but] if we keep getting spells like this, obviously that’s going to go,” he said.
Mr Hickey said he would be cautious to overstate the influence of climate change on two successive downpours of rain in Cork within a week, as October is known for wet spells.
However, he said that it has been a year of anomalous weather recordings with heatwaves and dry weather, and it is “pretty clear” that higher rainfall in Ireland was also an expected consequence of climate change.
The public are advised not to make unnecessary journeys tomorrow, but if you must travel, to exercise extreme caution when driving, be careful of debris on roads, and stay away from fallen electricity lines or trees.
Motorists are also advised to avoid driving through flowing or standing water, and to be conscious of cyclists and pedestrians.
Cork City Council have issued a Level 2 Flood Alert for the city, as rainfall flooding is a “strong possibility”. The council has advised property owners and businesses to protect their properties with sandbags or gelbags. These can purchased from hardware shops or builders’ providers, and a limited number are available from Tramore Valley Park (Civic Amenity Site) from 9am until 5pm tomorrow.
Operations crews have been checking gullies, screens and drains across the city and county to ensure they are cleared in advance.
The city council have urged the public not to report blocked gullies unless they are full to the metal grate with debris, as they can still retain some debris and function normally.
Cork County Council have pumps deployed and on standby at known flooding locations throughout the county, and in Fermoy the low level flood gate has been closed at Brian Boru Square Car Park.
Cork City Council’s Customer Service Unit (021-4924000) is open from 8am to 9pm tomorrow to report issues, while across the county the public can contact Cork County Council’s emergency out of hours number (021-4800048) or local Council Offices during working hours.