Flooding gridlock to cause mayhem for Offaly commuters

Neighbouring Laois has been hit hard

Express Reporter


Express Reporter



'Mountmellick is a no go area' Laois Civil Defense pulling families out of flooded homes in Laois

Photo by Denis Byrne.

As well as localised flooding around Offaly, the mounting situation in Laois is set to takes its toll on evening commuters.

Although the regional road R421-11 between Clareen and Kinnitty has now re-opened, the road between Fortal Cross/Kilmaine towards the Birr/Clareen Road L4OO42-1 remains closed due to flooding.

The Laois situation with the River Clodiagh, which runs along the Laois-Offaly border, and the River Owenass bursting their banks earlier today, surrounding areas in Mountmellick and Clonaslee are experiencing traffic gridlock. Homes in those areas have also been hit with localised flooding.

Mountmellick has been described as "a no-go area" due to bad flooding that has occurred after heavy rainfall by Liam Preston, Chief Officer with Laois Civil Defense.

Liam said that the Civil Defense has been out all morning and that Mountmellick is the worst affected area in Laois, causing huge traffic disruption as school and work commuters hit the roads again. 

"Most of Mountmellick, Cloncannon and Clonterry, down by Manor Road we are pulling vehicles out and we are taking families out of their homes, a lot of homes are gone down. This area is completely impassable at the moment we are trying to save a housing estate," he said.

Heavy rainfall last night, and the water now flowing down from the Slieve Bloom Mountains has caused the Owenass River which runs through the town to completely burst its banks. 

These dramatic photos by Denis Byrne shows just how serious the flooding has become in Mountmellick.

Picture Copyright Denis Byrne

Offaly commuters travelling through Laois are advised to completely avoid Mountmellick, while they are also warned of substantial sitting water on all routes in Offaly itself. 

Expect delays, slow down and increase braking distances is the advice from gardaí and the RSA this evening. 

Further hazardous conditions may be on the way tonight and tomorrow as temperatures dip close to zero overnight, increasing the risk of frost and icy conditions due to the excess water. 

If you have a story for us, sports news, an event happening in your area, or if you want to submit pictures or videos, contact the Offaly Express team via email to justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie, or through our Facebook.