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Storm Frank to batter Ireland: People warned to stay away from coastal areas


Flooding in the area of Clonlara in Co Clare

Flooding in the area of Clonlara in Co Clare

Flooding in the area of Clonlara in Co Clare

Members of the public have been told to stay away from high-risk coastal areas following a serious wind warning from Met Eireann.

As weather conditions worsen, there is also increased threat of further serious flooding, in parts of the midlands and the Shannon catchment area.

Meanwhile, locations close to the seafront, such as piers or coastal walks, should be strictly avoided over the next 48 hours, according to the authorities.

The Met Office have issued two wind warnings for today and tomorrow, which apply to most of the country.

Irish Coast Guard Director, Chris Reynolds, said that high waters are breaking over pier walls.

Mr Reynolds said high risk areas should especially be avoided by parents with younger children.

The Coast Guard have today been called out to a number of incidents on the east coast.

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Those who got into difficulty included families with toddlers and small children in prams.

Met Éireann has confirmed a Status Yellow weather warning is in place for Monday

Winds are expected to occasionally reach strong gale force between Mizen Head and Erris Head.

A Status Orange wind warning is in place tomorrow, and southerly winds linked to Storm Frank will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80 km, with gusts of 100 to 120 km per hour.

Counties Kerry, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo,  Clare and Sligo will be hardest hit.

Winds will be strongest along coastal areas on Tuesday evening  and early night.

Speaking today at a press conference held by the National Emergency Coordination Group,  Jim Casey from the Office of Public Works, said that with the exception of in the Upper Shannon Catchment, levels are rising in all other parts of the river.

In the past 48 hours the level has risen by around 6 cm around Athlone, and the lower Shannon Catchment has seen levels rise by up to 3cm.

The levels in Athlone are 2cm higher than they were on 16 December.

In a statement, the ESB said the flow of Parteen Weir is to remain at the increased water rate of 405 cumecs (cubic metres per second.)

"This level of water flow may have associated flooding to land and property in the vicinity of the Shannon downstream of Parteen Weir including the areas of Springfield, Montpelier, Castleconnell, Mountshannon (Annacotty) and the University of Limerick."

The statement also warned other areas between Parteen Weir and Limerick could be at risk of flooding due to local factors.

Water flow is likely to increase in the coming days, given the high levels of rainfall expected in the Shannon catchment, according to the ESB, which is monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis.

Meanwhile, people living in the midlands, which is part of the Shannon catchment area, are having to cope with ongoing flood damage.

Seven families who had been cut off from the village of Newtowncashel, in Co Longford, for the last three weeks, had to be helped by members of the civil defence this morning.

In Co Westmeath, residents at Golden Island have raised serious concerns about an increase in water levels overnight.

With the prospect of conditions continuing to worsen, a number of householders living along the Shannon near Athlone, have stated the army should be on stand-by to help those in distress.

Irish Independent

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