River Shannon reaches highest level this month as Storm Frank approaches Ireland

ESB says the flow of water through Parteen Weir will remain at its current level today

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The River Shannon has reached its highest level this month as Met Éireann has issued a number of weather warnings as Storm Frank approaches Ireland.

An orange level wind warning will be in place along the west coast - for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry - from midday Tuesday.

Winds of up to 80 kilometres per hour are forecast, with gusts of up to 120 kilometres per hour.

A status yellow wind warning has been issued for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford. It is also valid from midday tomorrow.

Separately a status yellow rain warning is in place this afternoon for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick.

Wilhelmina Phelan from Met Éireann says there will be strong winds along the Atlantic coastal counties:

The River Shannon has now reached its highest level this month as residents prepare for flooding in Westmeath. 

The Shannon is expected to rise by a further 10cm by Wednesday.
Director of Services for Westmeath County Council Barry Kehoe says they're preparing for the worst:

Yesterday the ESB increased the flow of water through Parteen Weir for the second day running, warning that the increased flow means areas downstream in Limerick and Clare may be at risk of flooding.

Today ESB says the flow of water through the weir will remain steady at 405 cubic metres per second, but is advising that the flow is likely to increase in the coming days.

Flood defences in Athlone are said to be holding, as Westmeath County Council remains on alert. Around 40 people have spent Christmas manning pumps in the town.

Limerick City and County Council also warned in a statement yesterday that there is a heightened risk of flooding during the coming days.

Clare County Council is advising motorists to avoid unnecessary travel on Tuesday night and during Wednesday due to the flooding risk.

The warnings here comes as 500 troops have been deployed in the UK to help deal with the worst flooding in decades.