There are no surprises to see rainfall and windy conditions in the country, whether it is November, December or July. Last week our endurance was tested to new heights however when Ireland witnessed what experts have said is the worst weather since 1998. The first alarm bells were raised earlier last week on Wednesday when Met Eireann issued an orange alert weather warning. However not much heed was taken to the warnings until millions worth of damage was done to coastal towns, shops and businesses were destroyed and some residents even had to flee their homes for safety. Here’s a timeline of the events as they unfolded:
1st January: A wicklow train station is closed following a landslide. Meanwhile an orange alert is issued across the country. Gale force winds and flooding are predicted for coastal towns. A cautionary measure is taken and the Dublin boardwalk is closed to the public for their safety.
2nd January (evening): The River Lee bursts its banks in cork shortly after 6pm and many homes are evacuated as a result. However this is only the beginning and other major towns and cities such as Belfast are issued flood warnings. Meanwhile the weather has also impacted upon transport and many ferry services are disrupted. Inland thousands of homes have lost power due the severe gale force winds.
3rd January: The Liffey bursts its banks. One light hearted tweet states “The Liffey has burst it’s banks. For the first time in history, the north side and the south side are one.” The flooding does cause disruption to commuting services however, particularly around the Heuston station area. The city center is not the only area affected however, other parts of county including Malahide and Clontarf are subjected to flooding. Blackrock in Louth is impassible and other coastal towns like Lahinch and Galway take the worst of the hit.
4th January: The extent of the damage done is revealed. The Lahinch promenade has been ravaged and it is estimated that it will take millions of euro to repair the popular surfing village. The city of Galway has also sustained severe damage, many shops and businesses effected by the flooding are not covered by insurance. Meanwhile a coast guard station in Doolin has been damaged while the crew are Volunteering. A yellow alert remains in place until wednesday, expecting the severe wrath of storm Christine.
6th January: Despite heavy rainfall, the weather has calmed down and damage is less severe.
9th January: There are no longer weather warnings in place however many towns are still recovering in the aftermath. It is just a week on since the Lee ominously burst its banks in cork and national flash flooding ensued. The Government are now however undertaking a serious clean up operation and the European communities have agreed to review an application for assistant funding. The government have ten weeks to compose the appeal and the money will derive from The European solidarity fund if the request is granted.
while the worst of the storm appears to be over, Ireland now must wait for the verdict from the European Communities as to whether they will grant the country assistance from the European solidarity fund in order to repair any damage done.
Ireland is not the only place that has experienced incredibly unusual weather conditions in the past week. America is currently experiencing record cold temperatures due to a polar vortex. Even exotic regions such as Hawaii are experiencing the big freeze and at least 21 fatalities have been documented as a result. While Ireland experienced the worst weather conditions since 1998, luckily no fatalities were documented due to the flooding.