Based on current forecasts, Clare County Council has issued a severe flood warning for all of County Clare in advance of a potential period of heavy rainfall during Saturday.
The Council says a combination of anticipated heavy rainfall (50-80mm), elevated water levels in waterways, saturated ground, spring tides and strong winds is likely to result in localised flooding in many areas.
The Council said river levels throughout the County are approaching levels experienced in November 2009 and weather patterns over the next 48 hours will determine whether those levels are likely to be exceeded.
Businesses, householders and other property owners who have experienced flooding in the past are being urged to operate on the basis of a very high level of alert.
The Council will operate an Emergency Helpline during Saturday to accommodate members of the public wishing to report blocked roads and flooding. If required, a Crisis Management Team will also be established at Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis, on Saturday.
Clare County Council says updates will be issued through the Council website (www.clarecoco.ie), Twitter (@ClareCoCo), Facebook, and the Council’s Text Alert System during the weekend.
Tom Tiernan, Senior Engineer, Clare County Council said, “In light of current forecasts, the main message we wish to promote is that we do expect flooding to occur with the high risk areas being those that have previously experienced flooding. However, due to the present forecast for heavy rainfall and existing saturated ground, coupled with high water levels in waterways and drainage systems, the potential for significant flooding remains high in all parts of the county.”
“We anticipate that many of the county’s roads will be impacted due to the overflowing of a number of tributaries, streams and rivers during the weekend. We are advising members of the public to consult forecasts and any warnings issued by Met Éireann in the coming 48 hours before making any journeys.
“The situation is being monitored continuously and contingency arrangements are in place to deal with any flooding incident. The Council has already convened a Crisis Management Meeting and will do so again during Friday as well as liaising with other response agencies regarding preparations for any flooding incident (s) in County Clare,” added Mr Tiernan.
Meanwhile, the Council says water levels along the lower River Shannon at Clonlara are continuing to rise and are expected to peak on Monday/Tuesday.
Council staff, assisted by the Defence Forces, Civil Defence and Fire Service, are continuing to implement flood defence measures and to co-ordinate with local property owners on both sides of the river.