- 19 Oct 23
The clean up operation is to begin today begin in Cork and Waterford after "apocalyptic" flooding as a result of Storm Babet, the first major storm of the season
Storm Babet raged across the south east coast last night resulting in flooding in towns and villages in East Cork and West Waterford. A status orange weather warning was issued earlier this week but few were expecting the damage to be this significant.
Cork County Council said that more than 100 properties were inundated with water in Midleton alone after a month's rain fell in less than 24 hours as a result of storm Babet.
Cork city, which is normally prone to flooding, was not severely affected by last night's storm, although the Blackpool and Commons Road area both were flooded.
The clean-up operation in Cork and Waterford begins today with Cork City Council describing the efforts of the Civil Defence force as 'trojan work'.
Trojan work by @cc_civildefence volunteers today … spent the afternoon pumping water in Blackpool village leaving just before 6pm with most of flood waters gone 🙏 #StormBabet pic.twitter.com/jyzOSR0AYx
— Cork City Council (@corkcitycouncil) October 18, 2023
However Midleton, in East Cork was severely effected with over 100 properties damaged in the town alone. Independent councillor for East Cork Liam Quaide, described the scenes of flooding in Midleton as "apocalyptic".
⚠️#Midleton town is currently impassable with over 100 properties flooded. We have established a Coordination Centre in Midleton Fire Station & a rest centre in Midleton Community Centre. The Army & Civil Defence are supporting evacuation measures.
— Cork County Council (@Corkcoco) October 18, 2023
It remains unclear whether or not the 30 patients in Midleton hospital will be evacuated this morning. Chief Officer for the Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Area Tess O'Donovan said the damage on site 'appears to be significant'.
Storm Babet, a complex area of low pressure which developed to the west of the Iberian peninsula, was named by the UK Met Office on Monday morning.
The UK warns of 'danger to life' after the Met office issue a rare red warning with estimated gusts of 113km/h in the worst affected regions.
Aberdeenshire to Angus are expected to be the worst affected regions, resulting in mass train cancellations in Scotland which are expected to last from today until Saturday
Met Éireann have issued a yellow warning for rain is in place in Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry. Localised flooding, reduced visibility and dangerous road conditions are expected as as Storm Babet moves over the northern half of the country.
Tánaiste Micheál Martin and Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment Simon Coveney, both Corkonians, said the Government will provide support through its Humanitarian Assistance Scheme.
Head of forecasting at Met Éireann Eoin Sherlock, said it was "unequivocal" that climate change had affected how Ireland will experience storms in the future saying that "an awful lot of rain" fell in a relatively short period of time which, coupled with heavily saturated ground, which then coincided with high tides, exacerbated the issue.
When asked on RTÉ's Morning Ireland whether a Status Red warning should have been issued, Mr Sherlock said Met Éireann issues warnings based on best guidance from two models - an Irish model and a European model - with international collaborations. He said the warnings were modified and that there were only "one or two stations where it creeped into red territory".
Sherlock concluded that the forecastor plans to change the thresholds for weather warnings to reflect climate change.