October 25, 2011 / 12:25 PM / 8 years ago

Two dead, hundreds stranded in Irish flooding

A commuter makes his way to work through flooded streets after torrential rain resulted in the major emergency plan being invoked in the County Dublin region, in Dublin October 25, 2011. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

DUBLIN/BELFAST (Reuters) - Two people died and hundreds were stranded in northern and eastern Ireland on Tuesday after torrential rain closed roads and rail lines, left shops and homes under water and led to the capital, Dublin, being put on an emergency footing.

More than one month’s rain fell on Dublin in 24 hours, causing several rivers to break their banks and flooding the country’s largest shopping centre in the south of the city.

Dublin City Council said the amount of rain that fell on the east coast on Sunday and Monday was unprecedented, damaging hundreds of properties and forcing many people to evacuate their homes.

Police said an unidentified body was washed up on the banks of a river outside Dublin and local media said it was probably that of a policeman who was swept into the river on Monday when trying to help stranded motorists.

Emergency services found a woman’s body in the basement of a flooded house in south Dublin, police added.

Eighteen people, including two young children, were rescued by firefighters in boats in the northern county of Tyrone when flood waters engulfed their homes.

The country’s largest shopping centre in south Dublin remained shut on Tuesday after a nearby river burst its banks and flooded the ground floor. One of the capital’s main courthouses was also closed because of flood damage.

The rain stopped overnight before resuming early on Tuesday. Ireland’s meteorological service said there was a risk of heavy rain in the east and north of the country but that it expected mainly dry weather for the rest of the day.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin in Dublin and Ian Graham in Belfast; Editing by Tim Pearce

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