National Emergency Director: ‘Several rivers are on the edge and may flood again’

Date Published : December 7th, 2015    Published By : Declan Keogh

Heavy rain which is expected over the next few days is likely to put even more pressure on many rivers, resulting in new floods in some areas. Chairman of the National Emergency Coordination Committee, Sean Hogan said that several rivers are ‘on the edge’ and may flood again due to more heavy rain expected.

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Main Photo: Clare County Fire & Rescue Service (Pic Pat Flynn)
Inset: Sean Hogan, Chairman National Emergency Coordination Committee (Pic: Declan Keogh)

Mr. Hogan warned of a high risk of flooding on the lower Shannon from Parteen Weir down to Limerick city as the river continues to rise. Carrick-on-Shannon, Ballinasloe and Athlone are being monitored as they remain at risk from flooding while the River Moy in Mayo remains very high.

‘Up to a fifth of the country drains down through the Shannon where there are unfortunately properties which will probably be vulnerable. The ESB will be working with the local authorities to manage discharges as best they can to avoid property damage’ he said.

Roscommon Civil Defence and council staff evacuated parts of Athleague, after the River Suck burst its banks.  Members of the civil defence assisted the public and have put in place over 3,000 sandbags this afternoon. Water levels have reached flood level and the village remains closed off.

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Roscommon Civil Defence and local Gardai in Communications Unit
(File Pic: Roscommon Civil Defence)


Eugene Dwyer, Senior Roads Engineer with Roscommon County Council said “Locals in the community excavated a drain to the downstream end of the river Suck, which is helping somewhat but water levels are still rising in Athleage. At the moment a 6” pump and an 18” pump are working away and we have crews from Civil Defence and our own council crews out there”

Westmeath County Council activated its Flood Emergency response Plan following a meeting of the Inter-agency response Committee. Data provided by the ESB predicts that water levels will continue to rise over the next few days, which indicates that flooding of the lower end of houses in the Deerpark area is likely to occur today. Many roads in County Longford are flooded and the council has been working over the weekend in an effort to minimise the damage. Longford Civil Defence, council crews and Longford County Fire Service have all been working over the weekend in many of the affected areas.

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Clare County Council has engaged with the ESB and stressed the importance of early engagement with all potentially affected property owners in southeast Clare. The council is distributing sandbags to property owners in the Springfield area of Clonlara while Clare County Fire & Rescue Service have also been pumping water in many parts of the county. Clare County Council will continue to monitor the situation in consultation with the ESB, the Gardai and Limerick City and County Council.

In Offaly, farmlands around Banagher and Clonmacnoise have been severely affected by the floods as farmers have been working around the clock to move livestock to higher ground.

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Limerick County Council said the Montpelier, Castleconnell and the Mountshannon Road, Lisnagry areas are most at risk. The Council said it was liaising with householders in these areas that were affected by the 2009 flood and is putting additional measures in place to help alleviate the effects of flooding.

In County Mayo, earlier we reported how 47 residents were evacuated from a Nursing home late last night. Several agencies were involved including the Order of Malta units from Ballina, Ballinrobe,  Westport and Knock, with several crews from the Irish Red Cross, HSE National Ambulance Service, Mayo Civil Defence and Mayo County Council. The residents were brought by ambulances and mini buses to pre-planned designated centres and care homes.

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Photo: (Ballina Order of Malta)

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Irish Red Cross and HSE National Ambulance Service

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government will consider setting up emergency funding for those affected by flooding. He said remedial work would be carried out at 300 locations. Reports by Local Authority Chief Executives are being collated and will be discussed at Cabinet tomorrow.

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