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Shannon water levels: The current situation

Thursday, 19th October, 2017 4:47pm

Shannon water levels: The current situation

Shannon levels pictured in early December 2015

The River Shannon water level in Athlone is almost five feet five inches higher than it was this time two years ago in advance of the biggest flood ever to hit the town.
Official measurements taken at an OPW measuring point south of Athlone weir show the water levels were 34.502m OD at midnight on October 18, 2017, compared to 32.8517m OD on midnight on October 18, 2015.
The 1.65m difference equates to over 5.4 feet in imperial measurement.
However, the water levels at present remain six feet below the record reached flood levels in Athlone, measured on January 5, 2016.
Previous flood history in Athlone has shown that it often the late autumn which is key to ensuring the town avoid flooding.
Last year, the Westmeath Independent revealed that the River Shannon had risen by seven feet and ten inches in Athlone in five weeks between mid October and mid November 2015, before Storm Clodiagh and Storm Desmond, major storms which contributed hugely to the flooding that hit the town in December/January.
The heavy rain today (Thursday) and the forecast for further prolonged rain over the weekend has sparked fears that water levels will again be abnormally high in this year's late autumn before the height of winter is reached.

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