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Fresh flooding feared as Storm Frank looms

Published 29/12/2015

Flooded roads in Banagher, Co Offaly, earlier this month
Flooded roads in Banagher, Co Offaly, earlier this month

Large parts of Ireland are braced for another winter battering amid fears Storm Frank will trigger fresh flooding and inflict further storm damage.

Just weeks after Storm Desmond caused serious flooding in many areas of the island, home, business and land owners are again on high alert of rising water levels.

Particular concern is again focused on low grounds around the River Shannon.

As it did in the wake of Storm Desmond, Ireland's Electric Supply Board (ESB) has increased the flow of water through the Parteen Weir to cope with the rising level of Lough Derg.

ESB warned the move would increase the risk of flooding south of the weir around Limerick.

It also warned that in the coming days the Parteen Weir flow may have to be increased to the rate reached during the severe flooding of 2009.

Limerick City and County Council said its staff remained on alert to ensure emergency responses could be immediately activated in the event of flooding.

Members of the multi-agency National Coordination Group have met in Dublin to discuss and plan responses to the severe weather.

Met Eireann has issued an orange wind warning for the second half of Tuesday for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry.

The forecaster said southerly winds, with gusts as strong as 120kmh, would hit coastal areas.

An orange rain warning has also been issued for Wicklow, Galway, Cork, Kerry and Waterford, with rainfall totals of between 40 to 70 mm predicted over 24 hours.

In Northern Ireland, an equivalent amber rain warning has been issued by the UK Met Office for all six counties from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

The Met Office has also issued a yellow wind warning for Northern Ireland, forecasting a "swathe of gale and severe gale force winds" across parts of the region.

A Met Eireann yellow wind warning is in place through Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning across Leinster, and in Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford.

A yellow rain warning has been issued for Donegal, Monaghan, Cavan, Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo, Leitrim, Clare, Limerick, Tipperary and all Leinster, except Wicklow.

Ireland's Road Safety Authority has warned motorists of a high risk of flooding, especially in coastal areas.

The RSA highlighted the hazardous conditions set to be created by a combination of high tides, strong winds and heavy rain.

It also urged vigilance, warning that flooding may hit roads that otherwise had escaped this winter's floods to date.

"The RSA is asking road users to check local weather and traffic conditions before making a trip and to consider postponing it if the conditions are extremely bad," the RSA said.

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