Belfast Telegraph

Flood warning for coastal areas

Authorities have warned of flooding risks in coastal areas with high tides, gales and heavy rain forecast this weekend.

Alerts were issued in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Clare for Sunday as the first big weather system of winter sweeps across the country.

The worst of the rain and winds are expected to hit in the 24 hours into Monday afternoon with Met Eireann warning of gales of 70-100km per hour gusting to possible storm force and likely to cause flooding.

Dublin City Council distributed sandbags in Clontarf and Sandymount and planned to close car parks along the seafront.

"This combination of high tides and low pressure increase the possibility of coastal flooding, particularly at high tide around midnight on Sunday and midday on Monday," a spokesman said.

Cork City Council said it expected to be hit with a tidal surge, with low lying parts of the city centre at serious risk. Galway City Council put up a safety barrier on the quay at the Spanish Arch and warned of localised flooding on Spanish Parade, Quay Street and Flood Street. Clare County Council said regions along the west coast expected to be hit by tidal surges and severe gales.

"While river levels currently are not a cause for concern, land, home and business owners along with motorists are being urged to exercise increased vigilance concerning the potential for localised flooding," a spokesman said.

David Stanton, Fine Gael defence spokesman, called for the Government to do the best to could to minimise risks from floods and severe weather.

"It appears to me that the army are only being called in as a last resort and when lives are at risk," Mr Stanton said. "I think it would be prudent to utilise the Defence Forces and any other state bodies and agencies in a preventative role to ensure that measures such as sandbagging and the like are put in place before homes and businesses are flooded.

"With a severe weather alert this weekend I am urging national co-ordinating bodies to ensure that all measures are in place and that all agencies are utilised to the full to minimise any damage that might occur."

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