Major flooding leads to evacuations as River Shannon threatens to burst its banks

Major flooding leads to evacuations as River Shannon threatens to burst its banks

HUNDREDS OF properties along the banks of the River Shannon are at risk of flooding after a period of heavy rainfall.

The Shannon, which is the longest river in Ireland, stretches 224 miles (360km) from Limerick to Leitrim, and flows through a total of 11 counties.

Yesterday, a Status Yellow rainfall warning was issued for 16 counties, with Met Éireann warning that "as the ground is saturated at the moment and river levels are elevated" there was a high chance of "localised surface and river flooding".

Despite local authorities from Limerick to Cavan being on high alert and implementing preventative measures such as flood barriers, sandbags and water pumps, the rainfall overnight has led to serious flooding, with some residents evacuated from their homes in County Clare.

The Springfield, Clonlara, Co Clare region is a black spot for flooding, with the area last being devastated by floods in 2016.

Local residents Joe and Geraldine Quinlivan built a sandbag trench around their bungalow in an attempt to keep the water back, and have said "it's bringing back hell again".

"Politicians just don't seem to care," Joe Quinlivan told The Journal.  "You’ll get the politicians here when the media arrive, and when they get their faces on the papers and on the television, they go away after that, and that’s what they have been doing since 1995.”

In 2016, the couple spent seven weeks pumping floodwater back from their home.

“It’s not good enough we are putting up with this and living with this threat every year,” Geraldine Quinlivan told The Journal.

“This is not an acceptable way to live, we can’t cope with this physically or mentally anymore.”

The town of Athlone in Westmeath was one of the worst affected, with drone footage showing the extent of the devastation.

Though the Status Yellow warning has passed, the rain shows no signs of stopping, with rainfall predicted for Limerick for six of the next seven days.