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Don't expect flood warnings, council tells homeowners

A MAJOR flooding incident in Dublin -- without homeowners getting sufficient warning -- could easily happen again, it has emerged.

Dublin City Council has admitted its flood-risk assessment group -- known as FLAG -- is unable to inform the public when and where rain will fall, and how much there will be.

The council and Met Eireann came in for heavy criticism last October after the public was given little or no warning before floods hit the capital.

But the council says it is still not possible for Met Eireann to forecast the location of rainfall, the time when it will arrive or the intensity of local downpours. The council pointed out that forecasters contact FLAG with weather predictions and not flood predictions.

"Ireland does not yet have a National Flood Forecasting Agency," the council said in a report.

Swamped

In the aftermath of October's downpours, Met Eireann admitted it underestimated the amount of rainfall.

A month's worth of rain swamped Dublin in a few hours, flooding homes and bringing transport services to a halt.

Met Eireann's senior forecaster Gerald Fleming said its warning was accurate for most parts, but not for Dublin.

comurphy@herald.ie