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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Weekend washout: Severe warnings issued for next 24 hours

Flooding on Hyde Road in Limerick City during heavy rain on Friday Credit: Arthur Ellis
Flooding on Hyde Road in Limerick City during heavy rain on Friday Credit: Arthur Ellis
Rainy August

Motorists should take care this weekend as Met Éireann warns of widespread and very heavy rain in many parts of the country overnight.

Many parts of the country remain wet, particularly in the west, and a status orange rainfall warning for Connacht and all Munster, except for Waterford, remains in effect.

There are reports of localised flooding around Killarney, particularly around Molls Gap and Black Valley.

While in Cork, the Lowertown/Goleen Road crossing is impassable due to severe flooding, warns AA Roadwatch.

There are also reports of flooding on the Goleen/ Crookhaven Rd (R591).

Meanwhile in Galway, caution is advised for those heading home along the Barna and Spiddal Road between Furbo and An An Spidéal.

“A flash flood as left the area very slippery,” said warns AA Roadwatch.

One of the main routes through Limerick City has also been submerged - those driving along the Hyde Road should take "extra care".

Motorist passing through Clare should avoid the Ennistimon/Lisdoonvarna Road, as the heavy rain has flooded the area.

The N68 towards the Ennis/Kilrush Road exchange is also affected.

Met Eireann are warning that much of the country will experience persistent rainfall over the weekend, and said that some areas today had already seen rain accumulations of more than 70 mm.

A spokesperson said they were anticipating a lot flooding in the coming several days. 

Cork County Council has already issued a warning about the heavy downpour and has asked motorists to expect dangerous driving conditions.

Met Éireann has also issued a yellow rainfall warning for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Waterford, saying rainfall accumulations of up to 35mm are likely. 

The warning is valid until Saturday afternoon, they added.

The heavy, persistent rain that has developed today will continued into Saturday, raising fears it could affect the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown tomorrow.

John Gosden's Derby and Eclipse winner Golden Horn is set to line up alongside Aidan O'Brien's dual 2000 Guineas scorer Gleneagles.

Billed as the race of the season at the Dublin circuit this weekend, the unpredictable weather has left the showdown in limbo.

Met Éireann said the rain may clear eventually in the southwest tomorrow evening.

Sunday will also see some scattered showers but is expected to be mostly dry.

The status orange weather alert currently in place will remain until tomorrow afternoon.

The following counties are affected: Connacht, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary.

Two lesser weather warnings were also issued for the following counties: Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath and Waterford.

These regions are expected to receive heavy rainfall and flooding in some places.

The Road Safety Authority is advising all road users to take “extra care” over the weekend.

“Preparations should begin before rain starts to fall” said Arwen Foley, AA Roadwatch editor.

“Check your tyre pressure and tread depth - it might be time to replace your tyres as balding can be extremely dangerous in these conditions.

"Don’t forget about your window wipers too, they should be changed about once a year.”

Anyone travelling long distances is advised to allow plenty of extra time to reach their destination, she added.

“Someone might drive through a large puddle thinking they have come away unscathed only to discover a few hours later, that their car won’t start.”  

AA Roadwatch has the following advice for motorists driving in very wet conditions:

  • Slow down to avoid losing steering control.
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
  • Only drive through water if you know it’s not too deep for your car.
  • If you have to drive through standing water, drive through the centre of the road, when it is safe to do so, as that is the highest point.
  • Allow oncoming traffic to pass first to avoid a bow wave flooding your air intake.
  • Drive slowly through standing water and use a low gear to keep the revs high
  • Once you start driving through the water, keep going but only if you can see what is on the other side.
  • After you have passed through the water, dry your brakes by tapping them lightly and rev the engine to clear water from your exhaust.
  • If you’re waiting for an AA patrol, don’t prop your bonnet open as the engine will be harder to start if the electrics are wet.
  • Be mindful of other more vulnerable road users; pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Don’t soak them with spray from your vehicle.

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