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Storm and flood warning for Clare

STORM and flooding expected this weekend could be “as extreme” as earlier this month, a senior Clare County Council engineer warned on Friday. Clare  County Council issued a flood and storm warning on Thursday for the entire county in advance of severe weather conditions that are expected over the next few days. On Friday afternoon Tom Tiernan, senior engineer, transportation, with Clare County Counil released a statement reminding people that an Orange Met Eireann weather alert pertains at present in respect of the county until Saturday night, February 1 and warning against unnecessary travel. “Storm and flooding activity is likely to be most severe in coastal areas including the Shannon Estuary where the high Spring tide of early Saturday morning will coincide with a substantial tidal surge and severe on-shore Westerly and South Westerly winds – conditions then will potentially be as extreme as they were during the coastal storms of early January,” Mr Tiernan stated. “In addition, this mornings …

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A cloak of armour for Seafield

By Peter O’Connell RESIDENTS in Seafield and Cloghauninchy are happy that as much temporary defence work as possible has been undertaken in advance of this weekend’s high tide, which is expected to reach 5.9 metres. Minister of State Brian Hayes visited West Clare last Friday where he saw firsthand the damage caused by the recent high tides and storms. “The work commenced last Wednesday. It’s on a temporary basis and Minister Hayes gave an assurance that he would look for funding. Some of it will have to come in from Europe. The defences put in place last week are temporary and not a long-term solution. The Seafield houses are protected by bags of crushed stone and rock armour,” Cloghauninchy Action Group chairman, Michael Neenan said. “I’d be fairly confident that it will hold out the sea but with a high tide of 5.9 metres, along with the waves we’ve had, it would be very hard to keep that out with …

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Storms threaten more damage

POWER cuts lasting several hours affected many parts of the county on Saturday and Sunday, following damage to overhead cables, due to gale force winds. There is a high risk that this kind of weather will persist over the next couple of days. This continuing adverse weather has  heightened fears that coastal areas of Clare and the Shannon Estuary shoreline  badly affected by flooding a couple of weeks ago, could once again be in serious danger of further storm damage. The latest Met Éireann forecast is: Squally showers continuing in most parts of the country tonight, a few of them thundery and some falling as sleet or snow over high ground. Strong to gale force, westerly winds will persist countrywide, with stormy conditions much of the time in northwestern and western counties. Lowest temperatures 0 to 4 degrees Celsius but too windy for frost or ice to develop.

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Lahinch Golf Club members rally for clean-up

LAHINCH Golf Club members this week rallied to the call for help with the course clean up following the weekend storms. “We put out a message to the members on Sunday to anyone with time to join in a big clean up.  Around 100 volunteers from the local community, Ennis, Limerick, Galway and Dublin turned up on Tuesday when over 550 black bags were filled with rubbish. Fifty more volunteers turned up on Wednesday, concentrating  on cleaning around the 4th and 7th championship tee boxes and the ladies 18th tee box.  For the second day running, the volume of rubbish collected was extraordinary and more skips are arriving in the morning to remove everything off site”, general manager Paddy Keane said. The Lahinch official confirmed, “Work on repairing the damage to greens, tees and fairways is continuing.” The boundary fencing was completely removed and work is underway to replace it. The championship course is due to open for play on …

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Dooras Residents “Trapped” since Christmas

RESIDENTS at Dooras, O’Callaghan’s Mills have been “trapped” in their homes since water levels began rising on the road outside their homes at Christmas. Some locals opted to abandon their homes taking up alternative accommodation, while others who had managed to traverse the flood in jeeps and tractors over Christmas week, are now unable to leave as water levels hit upwards of three feet. Flooding on this narrow stretch of road, which is a cul de sac, has been a feature of the area for many years, with residents having to resort to boats, or abandoning their homes until it subsided. However, in previous years the water abated much quicker. There are four houses on this stretch of road. Residents say although their houses have not been flooded the road servicing the properties is completely submerged and is extremely dangerous to even attempt to travel on as there is an eight to ten feet drop on either side of the …

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No respite from bad weather

WITH residents and local authorities in Clare trying to come to terms with the millions of euro of damage, particularly in Lahinch, caused by the severe storms of recent days, Met Éireann says there is more bad weather to come. Clare politicians, local authorities and business people are, in common with other areas of the country affected by the storm, appealing for emergency funding for remedial work. The damage caused to Lahinch, one of the top resorts in the West of Ireland, could have a major impact on the 2014 tourism season, Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins has said, in asking for a quick response from Government to the crisis. He is also concerned about serious damaged caused to others parts of the country. The forecast for the Munster area this evening is for further heavy showers,  some of  will be of hail.  It will remain cold with highest temperatures of just 4 to 6 degrees. Moderate, mainly westerly winds, …

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Horses escape injury

As County Clare took a battering from storm-force winds last night and in the early hours of this morning, the roof of a stable in Clarecastle was blown off. Two horses in the stables of Carole McLaughlin escaped injury. A few miles away, at St Flannan’s College a mature tree was toppled along with heavy branches from other trees. Around the county, there were other reports of some trees down but there were no reports of serious damage.   Met Éireann has downgraded the red and orange weather alerts to moderate winds and rain.

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Tornado hits the Stormy Oak Wood

THE Frawleys of Derryguihy, which translates to the Stormy Oak Wood, saw the townland live up to its name when their hay barn was lifted and carried over the family home, at the height of a storm on Wednesday of last week. The barn roof travelled 60 feet from its original location and miraculously only caused damage to five slates on the roof of Brendan and Patricia Frawley’s home in Kilmurry McMahon. They were at home at the time of the phenomenon, which the family has labelled “a tornado”. Ivor Frawley, Brendan and Patricia’s son, who has a garage next to the family home, spoke about what he witnessed during the peak of the storm. “I was working in the garage. The storm just got ferocious all of a sudden. The intensity and the rain; I never saw anything like it. It was like a tornado for a minute at the height of the storm. The door was closed but …

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