Two Dead After Flash Floods In Ireland

Search teams have recovered the bodies of a missing police officer and a woman after flash floods in Ireland.

Ciaran Jones, 25, had been directing traffic to safety at Ballysmutton Bridge near Blessington in County Wicklow when he was swept away.

A Garda helicopter, the Irish coastguard and several mountain rescue teams joined the search for the police officer.

A woman's body has also been recovered from a flooded basement flat in Dublin.

Dublin City Council implemented its major emergency plan when the worst flooding in decades hit the Irish capital.

More than a month's rain fell in the space of one day.

Water poured through the streets when four different rivers overflowed. Commuters were taken by surprise - some were trapped in their cars for four hours on the journey home from work.

The public transport system ground to a halt too. Bus and rain services had to be suspended.

The Met office had issued a severe weather warning but no one expected disruption on this scale.

Dublin's largest shopping centre had to be evacuated. The ground floor of the complex at Dundrum resembled a swimming pool.

Damage to shops will run into millions of Euros.

Earlier, Northern Ireland bore the brunt of the torrential rain. At Beragh in County Tyrone, 18 people had to be rescued from their homes in boats when the local river burst its banks.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Kerr said the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service had responded to 40 incidents.

"Our crews are working in extremely difficult and sometimes difficult conditions to rescue those in distress".

The heavy rains are forecast to hit other parts of Britain today with some areas preparing for flash floods.

Flood warnings are in place for North Yorkshire and East Yorkshire.

The Environment Agency has also issued flood alerts for rivers and coastal areas in Cornwall and Devon, as well as parts of Wales.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "Given the potential for very heavy localised downpours, small, fast responding rivers and streams are particularly prone to flooding, especially in Cornwall and West Devon."

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