The Taoiseach has said a national long-term forecasting system will be introduced to help prepare for future flooding.

The system, which will be run by Met Éireann and the Office of Public Works, will be similar to the European long-term forecasting.

Enda Kenny also said that ways of providing short term relief for people in areas that are repeatedly flooded will also be looked at. 

The Taoiseach and a number of ministers will meet with the national emergency coordination committee to decide how to deal with the crisis at 9am tomorrow.

A meeting with more than 60 agencies who are responsible for the Shannon will be held next week.

Mr Kenny spent two hours surveying the flood damage caused by Storm Frank around the country this morning in an Air Corps helicopter.

He was then flown to Athlone where he met some of those affected by the flooding.

Mr Kenny described the damage as "complex" but said the Government was working to provide relief to the areas affected.

The Taoiseach was accompanied by ministers Alan Kelly, Simon Harris and Heather Humphries.

A clean-up operation is continuing in the wake of the storm which left thousands of households and businesses without electricity.

Meanwhile, Tánaiste Joan Burton and her party colleague Ann Phelan had a slight mishap during their visit to flood-hit Thomastown in Co Kilkenny.

They were being brought through flood waters in a canoe when it tipped over, spilling Ms Burton into the water.

She got immediately to her feet and said she was "grand" before helping Ms Phelan out of the sinking canoe.

Tánaiste unhurt after falling from boat during flood inspection

Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Environment and Local Government Barry Cowen has called on Mr Kenny to call an emergency meeting of the Cabinet and reconvene the Dáil to discuss the flooding crisis.

Deputy Cowen said the Government needed to do more because many communities feel neglected, following the damage caused by flooding to homes and businesses.

He said Fianna Fáil would produce a bill tomorrow to give authority to one single agency over the whole River Shannon.

He said the Dáil needed to make accountable all involved in dealing with the crisis. 

In Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, the N11 has re-opened as the water has receded on both quays. However, the Promenade is still flooded.

In Offaly, water levels are continuing to rise along the Shannon and its tributaries, and it is expected that levels may rise further over the coming days.

Council staff in Offaly are carrying out regular checks on the ground and along with Civil Defence are providing assistance in all areas. However a number of roads remain closed due to the flooding.

The Emergency Humanitarian Flooding Assistance scheme is now available and is being administered by the Red Cross on behalf of the Department of Defence.

The quay in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, remains closed due to flooding and traffic diversions are in place.

Lowe Street, which was closed yesterday, has now re-opened.

The main road through Inistioge remains closed as the area is still badly flooded and the main road in Graiguenamanagh is closed due to severe flooding and diversions are in place.

In Cork, the ESB has advised that it will continue to discharge waters from Inniscarra Dam at the rate of 250 cubic metres per second (cumecs). This discharge level will be kept under continuous review and the ESB advises that the discharge rate may need to be increased further.     

Carrigrohane Road and Lee Road will remain closed and are likely to continue to suffer from flooding for some days. Traffic diversions are in place. 

Clare County Council said that water levels on the Lower River Shannon at Springfield, Clonlara, reached the November 2009 peak level during yesterday afternoon but have since receded by approximately 100mm (10cm).

The council has received confirmation from the ESB of its decision to maintain the spill rate at Parteen Weir at 440 cumecs during today.

The council said it is monitoring water levels at Springfield for any potential increase in the spill rate at Parteen Weir and flood levels on the Mulkear River, which enters the River Shannon south of Annacotty.

In Athlone, the Shannon remains at a high level and it is expected that the river will rise by a further 8cm by Sunday.

The level of the river in the town and downstream of the town is equivalent to the record levels reached in 2009, while the level in Lough Ree is slightly below 2009 levels. 

The Flood Response Inter-agency Group met this morning and the meeting was attended by Westmeath County Council, An Garda Síochána, Irish Water, the Defence Forces, Civil Defence and the HSE. 

To date, the flood defences within Athlone have withstood the rising water levels and pumping is ongoing. Additional sandbags are being made and arrangements are under way to deploy these in at-risk areas.

Limerick City and County Council said water levels on the Lower River Shannon at Castleconnell and Montpelier maintained the same levels overnight.