Belfast Telegraph

Further flooding wreaks havoc

Flooding has hit large part of the country for a second day with forecasters warning of more high winds and heavy rain.

Cork, Waterford, New Ross and parts of county Galway, Clare and Kerry were among the areas worst hit as Met Eireann said conditions show no signs of easing through the week.

An orange alert is in place until winds ease back later in the day but the risk of repeated flooding later in the week will be determined by the size of high tides and wind direction, forecasters said.

Among damage done by heavy rain and the seas were floods in the Mall in Waterford with the city's train station also closed. Dungarvan was also affected.

In Cork, flood waters were as high as three feet (91cm) in some places. They receded as the day went on but homes and businesses in the city centre were again left counting the cost.

A combination of high tides, rain and strong winds were blamed for both channels of the River Lee bursting its banks.

The rail line between C ork and Cobh and Midleton was also closed for a time due to the weather, while ferry sailings between Passage East and Ballyhack were also disrupted.

In New Ross, the bridge was impassable and the quays were closed to traffic because of flooding.

Brian Hayes, junior minister responsible for t he Office of Public Works, spent the day in Limerick city after the worst floods in living memory.

Some 2,000 people were affected, including many hundreds of homes in St Mary's Park and Kings Island where regeneration work has been going on.

Over the weekend stretches of the Shannon were six feet (182cm) higher than the normal summer-time navigational level, it was claimed, while the high water mark was seven inches (18cm) higher than the previous highest tide in the city.

The floods hit as Met Eireann revealed the entire country saw above average rainfall in January.

Its latest monthly review showed Finner in Donegal experienced levels of 160.3mm, Oakpark in Co Carlow 147.2mm, its wettest January since 2007 and almost double its average, Belmullet in Co Mayo reported its wettest January in 21 years with 210.5mm.

Elsewhere, Dublin Airport and Mullingar reported their wettest January since 1995, Knock Airport had the wettest on record of 208.1mm, while Johnstown Castle had its wettest January since 1998 .

The month's wettest day recorded 33.3mm of rain, which fell at Newport, Co Mayo.

The highest winds were recorded at Mace Head, Co Galway - 72 knots or 133 km/h - on January 3, its highest gust for January since records began in 2007.

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