Status Yellow wind warning in place and heavy rain expected tonight across the country

Status Yellow wind warning in place and heavy rain expected tonight across the country

A Status Yellow wind warning has been issued with gusts of between 100-110km/h expected.

Heavy rain will move across the country tonight accompanied by the strong winds.

Weather warnings have been issued for the west with 20-35mm of additional rainfall expected in Connacht, Donegal, Clare and Kerry.

In a statement, the ESB said: "The heavy rain last weekend has increased water inflows significantly into the Lee Dam reservoirs at Inniscarra and Carrigadrohid.

"On Monday, ESB increased its discharge from 150 to 180 cumecs (cubic metres per second) from Inniscarra Dam.

"We expect to continue to spill at Inniscarra Dam over the coming week to draw down reservoir levels.

"There may be associated flooding of roads, land and property adjacent to the banks of the River Lee downstream of Inniscarra.

"We continue to closely monitor the situation and are in communication with the local authorities and response agencies in accordance with our normal operating procedures," the ESB added.

Members of the Defence Forces have been deployed in Clare, Limerick, Galway and Westmeath to help local authorities with flood defence for the full story click here

The National Emergency Coordination Centre have said there is a 'high risk' of flooding from Limerick City to Athlone.

More than 2,000 sandbags have been distributed by Limerick City and County Council to areas at most risk in the Shannon catchment including: Castleconnel, Montpelier and the Mountshannon Road in Lisnagry. The Shannon flood risk is the worst in 20 years.

Three areas along the river considered at high risk of further flooding will also have emergency drinking water points set up by the Red Cross: Athlone, Portumna and the Montpelier. Sean Hogan, chair of the National Coordination Group which works with the relevant authorities during adverse weather, said Shannon-side residents should be on alert.

"It's filling and continuing to rise and may not peak until later in the week, so obviously people in that area who are in vulnerable areas by the Shannon still remain at risk of flooding," he said. "The message is to keep in touch."

Last night, seven pumps were in operation pumping water between the villages of Castleconnell and Montpelier. A flood boom, which is a large inflatable wall, was also being used in Castleconnell to channel the water away from the village.

The ESB yesterday increased the release rate of water from Parteen weir to 375,000 litres a second, with a further increase rate expected on Wednesday.

The normal rate of water released from Parteen weir at this time of year is 40,000 litres per second.

The ESB warned water levels along the River Shannon continued to rise last night with the flooding of roads, land and property in the vicinity, downstream of Parteen Weir, "highly likely" A spokesman for Limerick city and county council said road closures are likely to be put in place this morning.

"The likelihood is that the rate will increase tomorrow (Wednesday) when it could exceed 400,000 litres per second.

This is not a very common occurrence; it would have exceeded that in 2009. It happens once every couple of years," explained Vincent Murray, Senior Engineer, Limerick City and County Council.

"The rain that fell in Leitrim and up that end of the country is only coming down to us now so we are getting the brunt of that here and it is raining on top of that.

The next two to three days is therefore crucial as this water will spill into the Shannon, come down Lough Derg over Parteen Weir and into Limerick," he added.

Clare County Council is also anticipating further flooding of land, roads and potentially property along the banks of the Lower River Shannon in the Springfield area of Clonlara in southeast Clare.

Iarnród Éireann warned customers the Carrick-on-Shannon to Longford section of the Sligo to Dublin-Connolly line will remain closed due to flooding until this weekend. Flood levels are currently one foot above the rail head on the line with further heavy rainfall expected.

The IFA also warned thousands of acres of farmland are under flood waters in Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, Roscommon, Clare, Limerick, Cork and Kerry. Met Eireann's Evelyn Cusack said strong winds and rain will come from the Atlantic, so the west form Kerry to Donegal will be worst hit.