Ireland – 1 Dead as Floods Affect Several Counties

Heavy rain has been falling across parts of Ireland for the last few days. Some minor flooding was reported on Friday and Saturday 11 September, in particular in parts of West Cork.

Since then the rain has continued, and the Irish Meteorological Service, Met Éireann, today issued a “status yellow” weather warning for heavy rainfall in Munster and Galway. Earlier weather warnings had been in place for counties Mayo, Galway, Cork, Limerick and Clare.

Flooding has affected several coastal areas of the country since yesterday. A man died after his car was caught in floods caused by the heavy rain on Achill Island, County Mayo, late on Sunday, 13 September. Around 20 homes were damaged by floods in Miltown Malbay, County Clare on 11 September.

Rainfall

The current flood situation is a result of several days of heavy rain since that began to fall late last week.

According to Met Éireann figures, on 13 September, Mace Head saw 48.8 mm of rain, Belmullet 33.5 mm, Cork Airport 24.4 mm and Valentia 36 mm.

Between 10 and 11 September last week, Sherkin Island saw 48 mm, Valentia Observatory 43mm and Mace Head 38mm.

More rain is forecast for today. Met Éireann say that “rain continuing this afternoon and evening in Munster, Leinster and Connacht with a continued risk of flooding in places. Outbreaks of rain developing in east Ulster also. Brighter and drier in the north and northwest with just a few showers.”

 

Ireland’s Weather Warnings System

Weather Warnings in Ireland are issued by Met Éireann and are presented in three categories; yellow, orange and red. Met Éireann explain the categories as follows:

Status Yellow – Be Aware

These are to notify those who are at risk because of their location and/or activity, and to allow them to take preventative action. Yellow level weather alerts are for weather conditions that do not pose an immediate threat to the general population, but only to those exposed to risk by nature of their location and/or activity.

For rainfall, a yellow warning will be issued for:
30mm – 50mm in 24 hrs
25mm – 40mm in 12 hrs
20mm – 30mm in 6 hrs

Status Orange – Be Prepared

This category of orange level weather warnings is for weather conditions which have the capacity to impact significantly on people in the affected areas. The issue of an Orange level weather warning implies that all recipients in the affected areas should prepare themselves in an appropriate way for the anticipated conditions.

For rainfall, an orange warning will be issued for:
50mm – 70mm in 24 hrs
40mm – 50mm in 12 hrs
30mm – 40mm in 6 hrs

Status Red – Take Action

The issue of red level severe weather warnings should be a comparatively rare event and implies that recipients take action to protect themselves and/or their properties; this could be by moving their families out of the danger zone temporarily; by staying indoors; or by other specific actions aimed at mitigating the effects of the weather conditions.

For rainfall, a red warning will be issued for:

70mm or greater in 24 hrs
50mm or greater in 12 hrs
40mm or greater in 6 hrs