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live updates Wind and rain weather alerts issued for entire country as Met Eireann warns of 'significant' flood risk

Two Status Yellow alerts covering the rest of the country have also been issued

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Cork, Kerry, Waterford and Tipperary were placed on high flood alert as a Status Orange rain warning was issued with fears up to 100mm of rainfall could hit some mountainous areas.

The Status Orange alert will remain in place for the four counties until 9pm this evening – with a Status Yellow alert in place for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare, Limerick and all of Connacht.

Even low-lying areas of Cork, Waterford, Kerry and Tipperary could see almost 80mm of rainfall over a 24-hour period – raising flood fears given the already swollen nature of streams, rivers and lakes.

A Status Yellow wind warning has also been issued for Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Munster, Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Sligo with winds reaching up to 110kmh.

Overnight winds left hundreds of homes in Cork, Kerry and Waterford without power - while the ESB began extra discharges from its Inniscarra Dam in anticipation of major water flows over the next 48 hours into the reservoir from mountains following the torrential rainfall.

Cork has the most homes without power as 370 customers are without power this morning in Carrigtwohill in three separate outages

Cork City Council, Cork Co Council and Kerry Co Council have issued river flooding warnings.

Cork city’s flood plan has been activated and the Defence Forces are now on standby.

Emergency flood protection measures have also been deployed including pumping crews - with a number of flood-prone roads closed as a precaution.

The River Lee and its many tributaries ( including the Shournagh in Cloghroe, the Bride in Blackpool, the Curraheen) and the Glashaboy River through Glanmire and the Tramore River through Togher may break their banks due to rain levels and the current waterlogged nature of the ground.

Flooding has already been reported in parts of east and west Cork. In Cork city, wind damage was reported to a number of properties with slates dislodged.

Cork City Council Director of Operations David Joyce said every preparation has been taken to protect against river flooding.

“We are advising people who live and work in areas prone to river flooding to take active measures to protect their property."

“We expect weather and travelling conditions to get worse as the day progresses and into tonight and tomorrow, Wednesday. Please avoid unnecessary journeys. Please don’t drive into flooded areas and please respect road closures,” he said.

Kerry Co Council also has emergency response crews on standby for river flooding.

Met Eireann's Liz Walsh warned that flooding is a serious risk in parts of the south and southwest where exceptionally heavy rainfall is likely to hit areas already saturated by recent showers.

The heaviest rainfall is expected along mountainous parts of Cork and Kerry.

Several river valleys including the Lee, Blackwater and Suir are already flooding low lying farmland after heavy rainfall last week.

Councils worked to clear drains and culverts in anticipation of flooding while sand and gel bags were being distributed to business and home owners in communities vulnerable to river flooding.

Both the Garda and Road Safety Authority (RSA) urged anyone undertaking essential journeys to drive with extreme care given the challenging weather conditions.

Motorists were warned to be wary of the risk posed by spot flooding along some secondary and rural roads, particularly low-lying routes near streams and rivers. Some flood-prone roads were being closed as a precautionary measure.

"The rain will be very heavy at times, particularly in the southwest with a risk of localised flooding," Ms Walsh said.

"Tuesday will remain wet and windy as further spells of heavy rain spread northwards across the country with a continued risk of localised flooding."

The weather will remain unsettled throughout the week though brighter spells will emerge on Thursday and into the weekend.


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