Ireland’s meteorological have issued flood warnings and asked the public to avoid high-risk coastal areas as Storm Frank is set to hit. The Shannon River catchment area is especially at risk as water levels continue to rise.
Met Eireann has issued a Status Yellow warning, with high winds predicted and an increased threat of serious flooding in the midlands and the Shannon area, which has already been effected in recent weeks. Storm Frank is expected to pass over Ireland by Tuesday evening. The warning has been escalated to a Status Orange on Tuesday with southerly winds reaching speeds of 40 to 50 mph, with gust of up to 62 and 75 mph. Counties Kerry, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Clare and Sligo will be hardest hit.
The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) have said the flow of Parteen Weir, in County Tipperary, is to remain at the increased water rate of 405 cumecs (cubic metres per second.)
Their statement read: "This level of water flow may have associated flooding to land and property in the vicinity of the Shannon downstream of Parteen Weir including the areas of Springfield, Montpelier, Castleconnell, Mountshannon (Annacotty) and the University of Limerick."
They confirmed that the Shannon level on Lough Ree is fast approaching record levels set in 2009. They also warned that other areas between Parteen Weir and Limerick could be at risk of flooding due to local factors.RTE reported that in Newtowncashel, County Longford, seven families had been cut off from the village for the last three week. They are being helped by members of the civil defense forces.
Closeby an elderly man’s remains were brought by tractor and trailer along the causeway to the cemetery at Saint's Island. He had died just after Christmas.
The Irish Coast Guard Director, Chris Reynolds, has warned the public to avoid seafront areas such as piers, and coastal walks over the coming days. Already the Coast Guard has been called out to a number of incidents on the east coast.
Some residents living in the Athlone region have called for the army to be brought in in advance of the story. The army has already been deployed in south Galway, near Gort, to build a sandbag barrier around houses in danger of flooding.
Clare County Council released a statement to warn the "entire country in advance of severe weather conditions that are expected during the next 48-72 hours."