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Now homes could be flooded as melting snow swamps waterways

The Republic was on flood alert last night amid fears that heavy rainfall and melting snow and ice could swamp streams and rivers, particularly in parts of Connacht and Munster.

Householders living near mountain streams were also warned about the very real danger of flash floods as the huge volume of snow on hillsides begins to melt.

Many parts are still recovering from the November deluge when homes and businesses were destroyed after the worst floods in living memory.

But forecasters warned heavy rainfall was on the way. Met Eireann predicted sleet for the south, saying a “mixed bag” of weather conditions is expected over the coming week.

Localised flooding in Munster was possible with 45-50mm of rain expected to fall today and varying temperatures across the country.

“This week is going to be a very mixed bag,” forecaster Pat Clarke said. “It's going to be very wet and windy weather in the south and south west, with sleet and snow in north Leinster and Ulster.

“There'll probably be some localised flooding in Munster with 40-50mm of rain to fall on the south coast, and 20-25mm in north Munster.”

Belfast Telegraph