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Displaying items by tag: flooding

"Ireland will be one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe and suffer more coastal and river flooding incidents in future, if a deal to limit global warming is not achieved in Paris," said Seán Kelly MEP, a member of the European Parliament's negotiating team at the UN's Global Climate Change Conference in Paris this evening (Thursday).

"Unfortunately, many families in Ireland are once again dealing with the terrible consequences of flood damage to homes, farms and businesses. This is a consequence of climate change which will become a more frequent occurrence in future if we do not take urgent action to lower carbon emissions," he said.

The Ireland South MEP told fellow negotiators in Paris that Ireland is particularly vulnerable to flooding because of high rainfall levels and our Atlantic location.

Mr Kelly further cited last year's study by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission which examined the possible future Climate Change effects if the global temperature rises by 3.5 degrees Celsius.

"Currently, flooding currently affects 160,000 people in Europe every year but the JRC study revealed that that number could increase to 290,000 in future.

"Across all sectors, Climate Change is causing 190 billion euros worth of damage in the EU annually. But the experts predict that figure could double if no action is taken. It is estimated that flood damage alone could account for €10 billion."

"The message is clear. If current global warming continues unabated, Ireland and the rest of the world will suffer from more flooding incidents. That is why we are here in Paris, pressing our global counterparts to compromise and agree on a deal.

"I believe a deal can be done to prevent this kind of nightmare future. Prevention is better than the cure - the amount of money we spend to repair the damages caused by the effects of Climate Change are far greater than what we could invest now in clean technologies and energy infrastructure that accommodates high share of renewables and so on.

"Reducing emissions now can save our environment, prevent unprecedented levels of damage, like that of the flooding witnessed in Ireland in recent days, and save lives in some cases," Mr Kelly continued.

Published in News Update

#Flooding - The Defence Forces have joined in flood relief efforts in Clare, Limerick and Westmeath as weekend rains risk significant flooding in the region.

As reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, the Shannon Catchment could see its worst flooding in two decades as spring tides exacerbate the effects of last weekend's Storm Desmond, which prompted a rare 'Status Red' warning for rainfall.

RTÉ News reports that the Shannon is already at dangerous levels, with a flood emergency response launched in Athlone after the waterway breached its banks in the Midlands town, threatening 100 homes.

Homes were also evacuated in Clonlara, Co Clare – between the Shannon and the Headache Canal – while the ESB was releasing water at its Inniscarra Dam facility in Cork to manage reservoir levels, warning of a subsequent risk downstream on the River Lee.

Meanwhile, Waterways Ireland has advised boaters to keep their vessels moored during this and other periods of stormy weather "and especially when national weather alerts are in place".

Even when the storms have passed, "users should be aware that the navigations will have changed significantly in nature and character" with the risk of strong currents, rising waters from flash flooding obscuring navigation markers, and falling trees weakened by storm-force winds.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Shannon - The worst flooding in two decades could fall upon the Shannon catchment in the coming days as spring tides accentuate the effects of last weekend's Storm Desmond.

According to The Irish Times, the Office of Public Works has told the National Emergency Co-ordination Committee that the River Shannon from Limerick to Athlone is the one area "giving most concern", with all gauging stations on the waterway showing only rising levels.

And spring tides this coming Friday and Saturday (11-12 December) are set to combine with "the fluvial flood wave coming down the Shannon" that is rated "in the severe category", warned the OPW's Jim Casey, who noted that the Erne catchment is also rising.

Meanwhile, the ESB has increased the flow of water from Parteen Weir at Ardnacrusha to help manage the Shannon's flood waters – but this too may lead to flooding of streets in Limerick city and suburbs.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#StormDesmond - Mike the donkey has a lot to be cheery about as volunteers for Animal Heaven Animal Rescue helped rescue him from floodwaters in Kilorglin, Co Kerry yesterday (Sunday 6 December).

As TheJournal.ie reports, Suzanne Gibbons from the animal rescuers put out an appeal on social media after she was altered to the fate of the donkey, who had bolted from his field after Storm Desmond blew the gate over and got trapped in a nearby flooded river.

It wasn't long before two local men brought a boat with a rope and life ring to help tow back onto dry land the grateful animal who's since been named after one of his rescuers.

Rising water levels across the country in the wake of Storm Desmond have prompted a marine notice from Waterways Ireland advising all masters and owners of vessels at public harbours, jetties or moorings against boating in extreme conditions such as storm-force winds and heavy rainfall.

Published in Inland Waterways

#FloodRisk - The Government is "stonewalling" new flood plans for at-risk areas near inland waters in Co Galway, according to a county councillor and general election candidate.

As the Galway Advertiser reports, Cllr Anne Rabbitte claims that the Office of Public Works (OPW) has refused to meet with Galway councillors to advise on new flood risk plans for Headford on Lough Corrib, Portumna on Lough Derg and Ballinasloe on the River Suck, a tributary of the Shannon.

As a result, says Cllr Rabbitte, the council is working from draft maps and being "over-cautious" in its estimates, adversely influencing "insurance costs and resale opportunities" for homes in areas not affected by the last serious floods in 2009.

The Galway Advertiser has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#GalwayPort - Severe flooding and storm surges will be the reality for Galway on a regular basis if the project to extend the port goes ahead as planned, the oral hearing into the scheme has heard.

According to The Irish Times, various groups, including Ireland's national trust An Taisce, have expressed fears over the risks to the city and its environs from a rise in sea levels and increased river flow that would be caused by the €126 million port expansion.

These concerns come in spite of the city's harbourmaster stating a year ago that flooding events would occur more regularly "with or without" the port development.

Marine conservation was also a hot button topic at the hearing yesterday (Wednesday 14 January) as Inland Fisheries Ireland and others outlined the potential ill effects on already vulnerable wild salmon stocks and other species in Galway Bay.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour

#coastalnotes – Clare County Council says it is monitoring the potential risk of coastal flooding later this weekend and on Monday.

The Council says that a tidal surge and accompanying Southwest to West winds will coincide with high spring tidal conditions during the 36-hour period from Sunday morning to Monday evening.

A Council spokesperson stated: "While conditions are not expected to deteriorate to the extent experienced in early January and early February, there is a potential for coastal flooding. We are continuing to liaise with Met Éireann and, if required, further advisories will be issued during the course of the weekend. In the meantime, caution is urged over the coming days in all areas where coastal flooding has previously occurred"

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

#Flood - Just days after Limerick experienced its worst flooding in recent memory, Cork city last night was deluged by a high tide that saw waters reportedly rise to waist height on lower lying streets.

As RTÉ News reports, Cork Lord Mayor Catherine Clancy has called for the speeding-up of plans for new flood defences following what she described as a "red-alert" situation for the city, the centre of which lies on an island surrounded by the River Lee.

Businesses and residents in the city centre were this morning in recovery mode after two nights of flooding that have caused thousands of euro worth of damage, according to The Irish Times, though council-issued gel bags helped avoid an even worse disaster.

Published in Weather
Tagged under

Clare County Council is to commence emergency flood defence works along the County Clare coastline near Quilty over fears that up to 15 homes could experience flooding.

Recent storms caused significant coastal erosion at Cloughaninchy leaving private residential properties exposed to flooding by sea water.

The local authority is investing 50,000 euro, which it says it will seek to recoup from any future funding allocation from Government, to install approximately one thousand 1-tonne bags of rock and sand as an interim flood defence barrier.

Cloughaninchy is already the subject of a funding application submitted to Government by Clare County Council. The local authority is seeking €2,581,250 to undertake permanent coastal protection works over a 800 metre stretch of coastline as well as repairs to a road, sewage pumping station and bridge, all damaged by recent flooding.

Mayor of Clare Cllr. Joe Arkins commented: "In recent days Clare County Council has met with residents at Cloughaninchy to discuss ways of addressing the very real threat of flooding posed to a number of residential properties. I want to praise the Chairman of the residents group, Michael Neenan for his pragmatic approach and to acknowledge the support of my fellow elected members in ensuring these works will now proceed."

Clare County Manager, Tom Coughlan says he has informed the Department of the Environment of the local authority's plans to proceed with emergency flood defence works.

In a letter to Sean Hogan, who is National Director for Fire and Emergency Management at the Department of the Environment, Mr. Coughlan stated: "The Council has undertaken a survey of the levels of coastline and it appears that the level of the high tides which are due in early February may exceed the height of the shoreline which has been reduced as a consequence of the storms. Such an occurrence, without the benefit of interim defence works, would probably result in flooding of private residential properties which have already suffered flooding earlier this month."

He continued: "The only apparent possible defence to this undesirable flooding event is the construction of coastal protection over a length of approximately 800 metres. It is not possible, for a number of reasons, to construct a permanent protection of rock armour at this time. However, in order to attempt to provide an interim defence, Clare County Council is proceeding with the construction of a temporary barrier of bags of material and other works along the shoreline. This temporary barrier will be constructed on the private properties along the shore and an agreement has been entered into between the landowners and the Council to facilitate the necessary works."

"Clare County Council has not made financial provision for this emergency work which may cost in excess of €50,000 – however, we have no option but to make every effort to safeguard the properties at Cloughaninchy," concluded Mr. Coughlan

Published in Coastal Notes

#Flooding - Flooding events in Galway of the likes experienced in the recent winter storms will occur more regularly "with or without" the expansion of the city's port, according to Galway's harbourmaster.

As The Irish Times reports, Capt Brian Sheridan said "worst case scenario" modelling has been carried out on the masterplan for the port's expansion, which was lodged with An Bórd Pleanála yesterday (10 January).

Proposals for the scheme, which would see 27 hectares of land reclaimed from Galway Bay, include a "mini Sydney Opera House".

But for now, many residents in Galway and other western coastal areas blighted by the recent extreme weather are concentrating on picking up the pieces.

On Achill Island, guesthouse and gallery owner John Bartlett said the tight-knit community was "pretty well whacked" by the tidal flooding and sea surges that wreaked havoc along the Mayo coast.

And further south in Kerry, fisherman Patrick O'Sullivan tells The Irish Times of the shocking night last week when the Atlantic literally crashed into his young family's home.

Published in Galway Harbour
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