Flooding hits homes in Co Wexford as further heavy rain forecast in Ireland

Homes in a Co Wexford town have been swamped as outbreaks of flooding continue to cause damage in parts of Ireland.

Some houses in the Haven estate at Rosslare Strand were in 3ft of water on Monday.

Several residents were taken from their properties in an inflatable dinghy.

Met Eireann had warned of the likely potential of flooding this week, with further rain falling on already saturated lands and high-flowing rivers.

A yellow rain warning covering Louth and Monaghan was due to expire in the early hours of Tuesday.

Volunteer Alan Duggan at the scene of flooding in Rosslare (Jim Codd/PA)
Volunteer Alan Duggan at the scene of flooding in Rosslare (Jim Codd/PA)

The north east of the island was expected to be hit hardest on Monday night, with a UK Met Office amber rain warning in place for Antrim, Down and Armagh in Northern Ireland until 9am on Tuesday.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Storm Ciaran is set to bring more heavy rain and strong winds, with Munster and Leinster set to be among areas worst affected.

Local Coast Guard volunteer Alan Duggan was involved in efforts to help people get to dry land in the Haven estate in Rosslare on Monday.

The estate is mostly made up of holiday homes.

“I walked in chest waders and the water was up to my waist outside of someone’s front door,” he said.

“There are about 35 to 40 houses in the Haven and around 15 of them are flooded.”

Mr Duggan said he used to live in the estate and he had never witnessed flooding on that scale before.

Local councillor Jim Codd visited the scene on Monday.

He said flooding incidents were becoming more commonplace in recent years in south Wexford.

Autumn weather October 30th 2023
A van drives through a flooded area under a railway bridge as a train passes overhead on the A26 outside the village of Moira in Northern Ireland (Liam McBurney/PA).

Mr Codd said more needed to be done to ensure drains and canals were properly cleared and dredged so heavy rainfall had somewhere to escape to.

“We have people who are petrified now every time there is a fall of rain and the impact this is having on our roads is also horrendous as it’s tearing up the roads over and over again,” said the Aontu representative.

“Those that currently have insurance for homes will not get it again and many of the people in the areas I represent cannot now get insurance, even in cases when they themselves might not have been flooded, but they live close to the floods. This is turning people’s lives upside down.”

Other parts of Co Wexford have also experienced flooding in recent days, including the village of Bridgetown and parts of Wexford town.

Mr Codd called for “new solutions” on how to tackle the problem.

“With the coming storm and predictions for more rainfall, people are very frightened, people are very nervous and bear in mind the district I represent saw 4,500 acres under water two years ago and it took a long time for it to drain away,” he said.

“Much of this area is under sea level and I really do think we need to be looking to Holland and seeing how they keep back the water in the lowlands in Europe.

“We’re in a new era when it comes to rainfall and we have to think outside the box for new solutions.”