Taoiseach to visit flood-hit areas as 3,000 homes remain without power

In Athlone the River Shannon has returned to record 2009 levels

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Thomastown in County Kilkenny is hit by Storm Frank as the Nore River overflows and floods the town. Photo: RollingNews.ie

The Taoiseach is making a public appearance in the Midlands today to see the flood damage first hand.

Enda Kenny has been criticised by the opposition for not being more visible since storm Frank hit.

In Athlone the River Shannon has returned to record 2009 levels.

Many parts of the country are still under water today, while around 3,000 people have been left without power.

A majority of the outages are in Co Cork. 

Other ongoing outages are reported in Enniscorthy in Co Wexford, Skerries in Co Dublin, and a number of other locations around the country.

Many parts of the West, South and North-West are still heavily flooded after Storm Frank passed over Ireland on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The continuing poor conditions are hampering the repair efforts, the ESB says.

Details of affected areas can be found on the ESB Power Check website.

ESB Networks is reminding people never to go near or touch fallen electricity lines, and to contact 1850-372-999 if they come across any fallen poles or lines.

Met Éireann forecaster Joan Blackburn says we have been stuck in a series of storms, affecting the same areas repeatedly:

Emergency services are advising people in areas affected by flooding to avoid non-essential journeys and to be careful if driving in flooded areas.

The Coast Guard yesterday dealt with a number of call outs in Dublin where people had gotten into difficulty in coastal areas.

Meanwhile Clare County Council says that water levels on the Lower River Shannon at Springfield, Clonlara, reached peak 2009 levels during Wednesday afternoon, but have since receded.

The Council adds that ESB has confirmed they are intending to keep spill rate at Parteen Weir at its current level of 440 cubic metres per second.

It is feared the levels in Lough Derg may reach those seen in 2009 in the coming days and, as a result, the flow through Parteen Weir may also increase to 2009 levels in the coming days.

Limerick County Council says staff are continuing pumping operations in Castleconnell and Montpelier, and flood defences are being maintained in flood prone locations along the River Shannon.

The Red Cross have confirmed that 125 businesses have applied for flood relief funding.

So far more than €300,000 has been paid out according to Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross Liam O'Dwyer.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State at the Office of Public Works says no politician can promise that flooding won't happen again.

Simon Harris said a national capital flood plan is in place but it will take several years to implement.

Speaking to Breakfast, Deputy Harris said "I can't promise, and no politician can promise, that this isn't going to happen again. We have to tell the truth here, we have to level with people.

"The reality is these sort of schemes take a number of years to deliver, and until they're delivered there are communities in this country at risk of flooding. That is a statement of fact, and we have to do everything to mitigate against that risk," he added.