Westmeath flood defences to remain over Christmas as Shannon levels to rise

Water levels are not expected to reach peak levels reached after Storm Desmond

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Irish Air Corp Airman Craig Cullen looks out over floods in Athlone Co Westmeath in the aftermath of Storm Desmond Picture by: Niall Carson / PA Wire

Westmeath County Council says it expects water levels in the River Shannon to rise this week.

The area was devastated by flooding in the past fortnight following heavy rain brought by Storm Desmond.

“The forecast is that river levels may rise slightly between now and the 26th of December but that the level reached is unlikely to exceed the peak level recorded on Friday last,” the Council said in a statement.

As a result, flood defence “must be maintained through the Christmas holiday period and most likely into the New Year.”

The interagency Flood Response Coordination Group is to meet on Wednesday at 11am “to assess the situation at that time and to make arrangements for the Christmas period,” the statement added.