ESB increases flow rates through Parteen Weir for second day running

Met Éireann is forecasting further heavy rain for all areas of the country tomorrow and next week

flooding, athlone, westmeath, water, rainfall, warning

Flood defences in Athlone. Image:

ESB has increased flow rates through the Parteen Weir for a second day running, as water levels continue to rise on Lough Derg.

Following days of heavy rainfall, it is increasing the flow to 405 cubic metres per second.

At its previous peak, in the days after Storm Desmond, the flow was 440 cubic metres per second.

ESB is warning that the increased flow means areas downstream in Limerick and Clare may be at risk of flooding.

Meanwhile flood defences in Athlone are said to be holding steady, as Westmeath County Council remains on alert.

Almost 30 millimetres of rain fell between Christmas and St Stephen's days.

The River Shannon has risen by 8cm in the past few days, and it is predicted that water levels will rise by 10cm in the coming days.

Met Éireann is forecasting heavy rain for all areas of the country tomorrow and next week.

Director of Services at Westmeath County Council Barry Kehoe says up to 40 people have spent Christmas manning pumps - and there is no end in sight.

While Barry says most of the rainfall over the last few days has affected other areas of the country more severely than Athlone, he adds that "we can't see an end to it at this point in time".

A yellow rainfall warning that was in place yesterday for Munster and Leinster has now ended. However communities are monitoring flood defences around the clock.

It comes as severe flooding in the north of England has left thousands of homes without power and let to thousands of homes being evacuated.