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Carpark in Salthill flooded again


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Carpark in Salthill flooded again Carpark in Salthill flooded again

DESPITE the buffeting from two storms over last weekend – Elin on Saturday and Fergus on Sunday – Galway escaped relatively unscathed in terms of damage and accidents.

The highest wind speed in the country over the weekend was recorded on Sunday during the peak of Storm Fergus at the Met Éireann Mace Head weather station in south-west Connemara.

A gust of almost 117km/h (72.5mph) hit Mace Head at around 3pm on Sunday while a gust of 100km/h (62.1mph) was recorded at Shannon at 5pm on Sunday.

Once again, a number of cars were stranded at the Toft carpark in Salthill – close to the Atlantaquaria – while authorities managed to contact a number of car owners who ‘rescued’ their vehicles before the floodwaters reached a height of up to three feet.

Local councillor Donal Lyons praised the emergency services – including City Council staff, the Gardaí and Fire Brigade – for their efforts during the height of the storms on Saturday and Sunday.

“The worst of the storms was definitely on Sunday afternoon when there was a lot of overtopping across from Seapoint leading to the flooding of the Claude Toft carpark.

“While Gardaí managed to make contact with a number of car owners, there were about 10 vehicles trapped in the flooded carpark,” said Cllr Lyons.

Around 1,300 households in the Salthill area were also without power for just under four hours on Sunday – electricity was restored shortly before 7pm that evening.

At one point, Met Éireann issued a Status Red ‘coastal wind’ warning for Galway from 3.30pm to 4.30pm, with the Prom closed off to traffic.

Storms Elin and Fergus also brought some heavy falls of rain to Galway and the west over the course of Saturday and Sunday – with the Athenry Met Éireann station recording almost an inch of rain (23.9mm) over the course of the two days.

The wettest part of the West of Ireland from Friday, December 8 to Monday, December 12 (inclusive) was Newport in Co. Mayo which recorded almost 76mm of rainfall (3 inches) during that four-day period.

Weather recorder Brendan Geraghty told the Galway City Tribune that the North Galway area had survived the weekend storms relatively unscathed with fallen branches and high water levels in the rivers the most notable aspects of the storms.

He said that while November wasn’t a particularly wet month with 4.12 inches of rainfall, coming on top of a very wet summer/autumn period, land was saturated and water levels were very high everywhere.

“We had a dry period of weather from November 27 to December 6 which brought us a series of frosts but since then it has turned very wet again – from December 6 to last Monday, I’ve recorded nearly 3.5 inches of rainfall,” said Mr Geraghty.

After all that, a drier spell of weather now seems likely over the weekend as an area of high-pressure moves up over Ireland from the Azores before more unsettled conditions arrive again through the early days of next week.

Pictured: A still from a video of Toft Carpark during Storm Fergus on Sunday. Image: Galway Atlantaquaria.

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