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West Cork hit by more floods

Wednesday, 19th August, 2020 3:17pm

Thursday morning update: 

Storm Ellen has left more than 25,000 homes and businesses without power in Cork after high winds caused trees to fall on power lines. The ESB are working to restore power as quickly as possible. 

Skibbereen suffered flooding on Bridge Street last night despite the recent multi-million flood relief scheme while Bandon also suffered some flooding last night. The floodwaters did recede last night with some damage reported. 

TD for Cork South West Christopher O'Sullivan said: "This shouldn’t be happening in Skibbereen. Millions were spent on flood protection.The entire town should be dry even in this intense rainfall. Part of me is not surprised. The flood committee flagged that this area needed more protection. OPW need to provide answers," he said.

Some roads are impassable in Cork due to trees down. According to Cork County Council, routes affected include: N22 east of Lissarda N25 at Lakeview Roundabout, Midleton; N72 west of Fermoy R624 at Fota; R612 between Carrigaline and Crosshaven; R586 west of Ballineen; N72-654; R626 Rathcormac to Midleton; R618-57 at Carrigknaven and R627 from Westpark to Midleton and the R618-57 from Cannon’s Cross to the Inniscarra Bar. 

Cork County Council advises people to use extreme caution on the roads this morning as high winds/heavy rain overnight has resulted in hazardous road conditions, including fallen trees/debris and areas of spot flooding.

More wind and rain is forecast for today by Met Éireann, with a status yellow wind and rain warning in place for Cork. 

Original story:

Those affected by the recent devastating floods in West Cork may be in for more hardship as further extreme weather threatens the west and south coasts. Rosscarbery, Rathbarry and Dunmanway were among the worst hit areas last week.

TD for Cork South West Christopher O'Sullivan said that people in the area are hoping that Storm Ellen will not hit areas still reeling from last week’s floods.

“There's a lot of stress and nervousness. It's not a nice place to be for home owners in particular. Stream levels are still at a pretty high level,” said Deputy O’Sullivan.

Yesterday Met Éireann issued a status orange wind and rain warning for all of Munster as well as Galway and Mayo. The warning will remain in place until 12pm this afternoon (Thursday).

The arrival of Storm Ellen coincides with astronomical spring high tides which, combined, greatly increase the risk of coastal flooding.

Deputy O’Sullivan said that a number of lessons must be learned if West Cork is to avoid future flooding and subsequent damage.

“The main lesson is that we need more outdoor staff across West Cork. Their numbers have dwindled over the years.

“These extreme weather events are happening more and more, and there's no doubt in my mind that it's down to climate change, and that's another lesson we need to learn,” the deputy said.

A Cork County Council spokesperson said that assessments are still being made as to the total damage caused by the flooding.

However, the spokesperson said that work to remove debris from the culvert under the N71 at Rosscarbery has been completed and the N71 is now fully open to traffic.

Meanwhile, the Humanitarian Assistance scheme has been activated by the Department of Social Protection which will make financial supports available to all householders affected by the flooding.

Minister Heather Humphreys said: “I would urge families and individuals in need of assistance to contact their local Intreo Centre where our Community Welfare Service teams are available to assist with financial support.”

Food producer Avril Allshire-Howe from Rosscarbery described how water damaged her property and prevented her from traveling.

“Our processing unit had some damage where the water began to seep through into the office and one of the cold rooms.

“Driving was interesting. I've never had to do so much reversing due to flooding and basically, landslides,” she said.

Another Rosscarbery business owner, Brendan Walsh of Guerrilla Fitness, said that he was unable to get to work after being “surrounded on all sides” by water.

Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, said: “The council’s Roads Department have been actively repairing affected roads to ensure they are passable, while clearing gullies and debris to protect against damage in the event of further adverse weather conditions.

“Cork County Council continues to monitor the situation closely, as unseasonably wet and windy weather is forecast over the coming days.”

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