Ireland can expect to be battered by heavy rain and high winds with potential flooding for at least another two weeks as an Atlantic storm gathers force, according to the country’s weather service.
Met Eireann has issued further flood warnings for ‘every area in Ireland’ after another night of horrendous weather in coastal areas.
The weather service says they are particularly concerned about the flood risk in Cork and Waterford and on the east coast from Wexford up to Drogheda, Co Louth.
A spokesperson for Met Eireann told Independent.ie, “There are yellow and orange weather warnings in effect for wind, but that’s not the whole story.
“Rivers are swollen and any amount of rain may increase those water levels. There will be strong gale force and blustery easterly winds with high tides on the south and east coast.
“There are going to be poor conditions overall. The weather will be very unsettled and changeable, there’s an Atlantic storm headed our way on Friday night.
“There’s potential for another storm late Friday and early Saturday. If that comes in, it’s going to be very wet and windy.
“All parts of the country are due for heavy rain and from that, there could be issues locally. Coastal flooding is also a concern on the east and south coast.”
Government Ministers are to discuss funding for flood relief in the worst hit areas on Tuesday.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan was heckled by angry residents when he visited flooded areas of his native Limerick on Monday.
The Irish Independent reports that Noonan and junior minister Brian Hayes were ‘bombarded with jibes by irate residents’ on their visit.
One resident shouted, “We’re surrounded by water. We have a property tax and no property to live in.”
Noonan told reporters in Limerick, “We’re not going to leave the public in the lurch. This is a terrible situation that people are in. We have got to make sure the people of this area never ever have to go through this appalling situation.
“I think we all now believe in climate change, and we must make more provision for higher tides. So, the defences that were here – with the new climates that we are having all around the world – are no longer adequate.”
The report also warns that flooding will become commonplace in Ireland in the coming years.
Weather experts are warning of a ‘storm factory’ over the Atlantic as cold polar air pressing against warm tropical air creates the perfect storm conditions.
Dr Andrew Barrett, a meteorologist at Reading University, told the Irish Independent, “There’s effectively a storm factory over the Atlantic, caused by cold polar air pressing up against warm, tropical air, causing weather systems to form.
“These have then been steered across the Atlantic by a strong jet stream.”
Met Eireann’s Gerry Murphy added, “The south coast was worst affected in recent days because the prevailing winds are from the south.”
Peter O’Donnell from Irish Weather Online told the paper that many areas will be unable to take more heavy rainfall.
He said, “January was 70 percent above normal for rainfall and about half a month’s worth is likely to fall this week.
“This relentless heavy rainfall will be overtaxing the ability of smaller streams and urban drainage systems to cope. Eventually there will probably be some persistent flooding problems.
“These can be even worse near backed up tidal estuaries of rivers near the coastlines.”in