Flood risk returns as heavy rain warning in place for 20 counties

A man and a dog go for a walk as waves crash onto Clontarf promenade in Dublin (PA)
A man and a dog go for a walk as waves crash onto Clontarf promenade in Dublin (PA) A man and a dog go for a walk as waves crash onto Clontarf promenade in Dublin (PA)

Warnings of heavy rainfall are in place across 20 counties, with forecasters urging people to be aware of flooding and dangerous road conditions on Monday.

There are rain warnings in place in six counties until 6pm, with the warning extending into the early hours of Tuesday in the others.

Irish forecaster Met Eireann has warned that the rain will be heavy at times with the chance of thunder, and there is a risk of flooding and difficult travel conditions.

A Status Orange rain warning is in place for counties Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford until 1am on Tuesday.

There will be heavy and persistent rain in these counties, with a risk of flooding, dangerous road conditions and poor visibility.

Autumn weather October 20th 2023
Autumn weather October 20th 2023 A man struggles with his umbrella in Dublin’s city centre (Brian Lawless/PA)

A Status Yellow rain warning is in place for counties Clare, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway, and Mayo until 6pm on Monday.

A Status Yellow rain warning for counties Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wicklow and Roscommon is in place until 1am on Tuesday.

The warnings come as towns and villages in the south-east recover from the effects of Storm Babet, where unusually heavy rainfall led to homes and businesses being flooded.

Met Eireann has defended its warning system in the wake of the flooding, and the Government has promised to offer increased support for businesses affected.

Autumn weather October 19th 2023
Autumn weather October 19th 2023 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visits Bertelli Menswear on Main Street in Midleton, Co Cork (PA)

Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney is working on a proposal to bring to Cabinet on Tuesday, which would see two schemes on offer to businesses affected by the floods.

The first is the scheme currently in place and offers an initial 5,000 euro and further support of up to 20,000 euro based on the scale of damage to businesses.

Mr Coveney told RTE Radio on Monday that this would be for places which had been affected by flooding, but not badly.

He said those amounts were not “appropriate” for badly-hit businesses, and a second scheme would offer around double the initial payment and “multiples” of the 20,000 euro after that – possibly more than 70,000 euro.

Autumn weather October 19th 2023
Autumn weather October 19th 2023 The clean up gets under way on Main street in Midleton, Co Cork, after extensive damage (Brian Lawless/PA)

Householders can access to relief through the Humanitarian Assistance Programme, administered by the Department of Social Protection.

Mr Coveney said that Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys would bring a proposal to Cabinet on Tuesday to increase the threshold in order to qualify for the means-tested scheme.

Irish deputy premier Micheal Martin said “it’s clear that something significantly extra is required here now to enable the households to get back into their homes – many are in hotels at the moment – and to enable businesses get off the ground and their employees back working”.

“This was a climate event of a huge scale, which has really devastated the businesses in Midleton, community facilities in Glanmire, sporting facilities and households, in particular. Many people who just bought their houses, having them destroyed,” he said in Luxembourg.

“So there’ll be two schemes, the one for households and one for businesses. We’re looking at revising the existing schemes, we don’t believe they’re fit for purpose, and I think the interventions will have to be on a scale that we haven’t seen before.”