The Irish Times

Level of rainfall today will decide extent of flood risk in west

- LORNA SIGGINS Western Correspond­ent and TOM SHIEL

The intensity of the rainfall today will “tell everything” about flood risks tomorrow in vulnerable areas of the west coast, according to local authority officials.

South and southeast Galway and swathes of Mayo could be exposed, with the Shannon still rising and the great western lakes now “greater” than they have been in years.

High tides of over five metres over the weekend may also cause spot flooding in coastal areas, and Galway City Council has advised “caution” in exposed locations such as Salthill promenade.

Helpline

A 24-hour helpline establishe­d by Galway County Council will be staffed over the weekend, and director of services Liam Gavin said the Army, Civil Defence, fire service and gardaí were continuing to assist.

Portumna on the Shannon is “vulnerable”, while minor roads in Gort and surroundin­g areas remain impassable.

Up to 16 families have had to leave their homes in Co Galway so far.

However, the river Suck through Ballinaslo­e has begun to fall, while the Dunkellin river through Craughwell receded several days ago having flooded several homes last Sunday.

A precaution­ary boil-water notice is still in place in Ballinaslo­e.

Cut off

The community of Móinteach near Claregalwa­y has been cut off, but residents have not been forced to leave homes.

Cong village on the Galway-Mayo border is almost surrounded by water due to record levels on Lough Mask, but Ashford Castle says it is still open.

Hotel deputy manager TJ Mulcahy said they had several four-wheel drive vehicles which they used to ferry visitors from Ballinrobe and Cross village during Storm Desmond. “We are weathering it – and, most importantl­y, we have the mulled wine and minced pies.”

In Co Mayo, the river Moy remains swollen. However, 49 residents of a Foxford nursing home who were evacuated due to flooding are expected to be able to return to their accommodat­ion by the middle of next week.

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