Swathes of the country were hit by power outages and dangerous flooding of streets and roads, causing damage to homes and businesses and leading to some people being brought to safety as the flood waters rose.
However, Met Éireann moved to dampen speculation that another storm is coming. A spokesperson said that no Storm Gertrude had been so named, though there is the possibility of further low pressure systems arriving in the near future which could bring more bad weather. Short term, more rain is expected, with Met Éireann saying winds will increase in the south with rain developing and pushing northwards.
Any respite will be welcomed after many communities were hit with flooding, with many areas due high tides again last night.
At one point yesterday almost 14,000 properties around the country were without electricity, although the ESB aimed to have all reconnected by late last night. In Co Cork, the Bandon and Fermoy areas were worst hit, with 4,000 properties without power. Cobh had 2,000 properties without power at one point, while 1,200 homes in Carnew, Co Wicklow, 1,000 in Athlone, Co Westmeath, and 600 in Maynooth, Co Kildare, also required reconnection.
According to the Office of Public Works, water levels in the upper catchment river area at Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, had risen by 12cm by yesterday afternoon, with a 6cm rise in the level of the Shannon in the Athlone area in the space of 48 hours, bringing it 11cm above its peak of December 16.
There were also significant rises in river levels to Lough Derg and in Limerick City, while the rivers Brosna, Bandon, Blackwater, Suir, Barrow, Nore, and Slaney were hugely swollen.
Yesterday morning, Kilkenny County Council said it was activating its flood emergency response plan. The move came after river levels along the Nore and Barrow rose to alarming levels, posing a serious threat to areas such as Inistioge, Bennettsbridge, parts of Kilkenny City and Thomastown.
“This is considered a serious flood event with levels that have not been witnessed in recent years,” the local authority said.
Dedicated helplines were set up and sandbags provided while in areas such as Thomastown residents were urged to evacuate their properties. A number of roads were closed and the Army was deployed in Thomastown, alongside members of the civil defence, to help residents to move. At one stage yesterday a boat was used to rescue people living in Inistioge Quay, including a man in his 90s, after the area was swamped by 5ft of water. Inistioge and Thomastown were among those expecting high tides again last night.
Civil defence officer Ray Regan said: “It’s the worst in 40 years — genuinely, the waters have not been that high in 40 or 50 years.”