From the ABC 7 Weather team

Irish shopping mall floods after record-setting rains (VIDEO)

October 26, 2011 - 05:00 AM
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A once-in-a-lifetime rainfall in Dublin has put businesses (and one occupied bus) under several feet of water.

Pardon, could you direct me to the swimwear?

Flippers and nose clips were definitely needed Monday night to browse for bargains at Dundrum Town Centre, a shopping mall located in the southern part of Dublin. The flooding of "Ireland's premiere fashion, leisure and retail destination" occurred right around the time the mall was being cleared for an extraordinarily heavy rainstorm. (Scroll to the bottom for videos.) Reports the Irish Times:

The centre was evacuated shortly before 8pm when the nearby river Slang burst its banks and created a surge of water that flowed into the mall through doors beside the Butler’s chocolate shop located in the middle of the ground floor. The water then spread throughout the ground floor and affected most of the stores.

The gushing storm shut down roads, businesses and the court system. Three people died in Ireland and the U.K during the deluge, including an off-duty Irish police officer trying to prevent drivers from crossing an unsafe bridge. By the time the rain ended, a new record had been set in the greater Dublin area. A gauge at a military base just west of the city received 82.2 mm (3.24 inches) of rain, the most to ever fall there on an October day since records began in 1954. The site's biggest-ever rainfall was 108.6 mm, or 4.28 inches, on June 11, 1993.

Ireland's meteorological office, the Tá Mo Bhríste Trí Thine... wait, no, it's called the Met Éireann noted that this kind of rain wallop happens only about once every 80 years. To put it in perspective, the met office cites some similarly gargantuan dousings of yesteryear:

* Over 180mm was recorded on 11th June 1963 during a violent thunderstorm in the Mount Merrion area of South Dublin.

* 11th June 1993, exactly 30 years later, saw amounts of rain of around 100mm over 24 hours in the Dublin area.

* 29th June 2005 saw 45mm fall in the Phoenix Park in less than an hour.

* 9th August 2008 saw heavy rainfall, particularly affecting the North Kildare and Dublin area with amounts in excess of 70mm measured in the Celbridge, Lucan, Leixlip area.

Ireland isn't even in its wettest months yet – those would be December and January. Although with the Emerald Isle, "wet" is relative. It rains an average of 150 days a year in the eastern part of the country, 225 days a year in some areas of the western part.

Here's what the Dublin shopping mall looked like:

Another view shows a sea of floodwater on the streets pressing against the mall's surprisingly strong windows. It looks like the interior of a ship after it's struck a reef:

Even bus passengers weren't spared, with rainwater lapping at their feet (s-word warning!):

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