Flood fears recede in Athlone as south takes brunt of latest storms

Nobody will be diving in this penalty area for a while. St Aloysius College Bigmeadow pitch is waterlogged again. Photo: molloyphotography

Nobody will be diving in this penalty area for a while. St Aloysius College Bigmeadow pitch is waterlogged again. Photo: molloyphotography

Fears for a repeat of the devastating floods of late 2009 receded this week after the south of the country took the brunt of the bad weather thus taking the pressure off Athlone.

Despite the level of the Shannon reaching the edge of Deerpark Road and the grounds of St Aloysius College on the west side, the river was still 20cms (8ins ) from breaching the quay walls in the centre of town, a level that was approximately 30cms (1ft ) below the catastrophic level of four and a half years ago.

“The level of the River Shannon in Athlone remains high but is stabilising. Fortunately for Athlone, the most intense rainfall over the last two days [Tuesday and Wednesday] was in the southern half of the country, reducing the pressure on the upper Shannon,” said Pat Keating, the town clerk of Athlone.

“Taking the weather forecast into account, the council is expecting river levels to stabilise in or around current levels over the next five days. However, the situation will be kept under constant review and a further update will issue if the situation changes significantly,” he added.

McQuaids Bridge, between Deerpark Road and Millbank was closed, as was the Clonown Road a little further on, but these are regular Callow victims, and none of the neighbouring houses reported any catastrophic difficulties.

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