Power has been restored to all customers in the Cork suburb of Douglas following major flooding overnight, the ESB has confirmed.
However 200 homes and businesses in the Bandon area and 400 in Clonakilty were still without electricity this lunchtime as local residents counted the cost of the torrential rains.
The ESB said about 1,500 customers across the Cork region had been hit by power cuts, and it asked customers to conserve power usage as engineers battled to restore normality.
"We would please ask customers in the Cork area to minimise their use of electricity today, especially in the Douglas area - those that have power," said ESB spokesperson Bernadine Maloney.
"We are feeding electricity from other parts of the city, so it would be really helpful if people would minimise their power usage today."
Up to 70mm of rain fell on parts of the city and county between 1am and 4am this morning, leaving more than a dozen areas under water.
Forecasters said the heavy rain fell on top of already saturated ground, compounding the impact of torrential showers.
Emergency services in the city received 128 calls for help following floods, including 45 callers needing direct rapid response.
Cork City Council emergency number for those affected by #corkfloods is 0214208000— Laura McGonigle (@LauraMcGonigle) June 28, 2012
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin said government agencies are meeting now to assess their response to the floods.
"The National Coordination Group for Emergency Management is currently meeting to assess the situation nationally and to work out any supports that might be needed," Minister Howlin said.
"That includes the OPW, the Department of Transport, the Departments of Defence and the Environment, the Fire Service and Met Éireann.
"The Department of the Environment will provide an update… following the conclusion of the meeting."
The damage has led to new calls from the business community for urgent measures to tackle repeated flooding in the area.
Cork Chamber is calling for the completion of a flood modelling study on the River Lee, as well as a government commitment to fund flood protection measures and early warning systems.
Council bosses however said pre-emptive action helped reduce the impact of the overnight flash floods which left more than a dozen areas under water.
Cork County Council said it was alerted to a weather warning at 5pm yesterday and dispatched teams to carry out checks at key flooding spots.
“The rainfall has now abated and water levels are dropping,” a spokesman said.
“But roads remain impassable in a number of areas including Clonakilty town, Douglas and Sarsfield’s Road.”
The council chiefs said the region has been hit by three times the average monthly rainfall total for June.
Officials said 20 homes were hit by the floods in Park Court, Ballyvolane, and another eight in the Commons Road area.
Also in the city the authority said a significant number of properties, business and residential, in Blackpool Village and Watercourse Road were inundated in the early hours of the morning.
Elsewhere, the council said localised flooding was reported on the Old Kinsale Road near the business park, Sarsfield Road roundabout, Monaghan Road, Centre Park Road and Turner’s Cross.
Up to a metre of water was reported on the main streets of Douglas village with 3,000 homes without electricity, while officials warned there was no access in or out of Clonakilty.
[comment]Twitter users expressed their shock and disbelief at the damage wrought in Douglas, particularly to well-known local businesses.[/comment]
Surprised a national state of emergency was not declared when KC's in Douglas flooded - quality chippers are very hard to find! #corkfloods— Ken Curtin (@kencurtin) June 28, 2012
Cork City Council said its flood emergency response plan swung into effect at 3.30am and the crisis management team met at 7am.
It said staff from the fire and emergency services and roads and drainage units followed a swift and co-ordinated response to incidents throughout the morning.
“All council services associated with a flood response continue to be activated and will continue throughout the day to respond where required,” a spokesman said.
Weather and river levels will also be monitored through the day.
Meanwhile in Clonakilty the local community was joining forces to help those affected.
People are arriving in Clonakilty to help the clean up. Brooms are available from The Courthouse for people who wish to help. #CorkFloods— Irish Examiner (@irishexaminer) June 28, 2012
Reverend Paul Colton, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, said he was shocked by the the level of flooding across the city and county.
“It was with disbelief that I looked at the pictures of my home village of Douglas through which we drove, only yesterday, to the Church of Ireland Church for my mother’s funeral,” said Rev Colton.
“My wife and I know personally many who live and make their livelihoods in premises in Douglas village and, not only there, but also in the other parts of the outer city and county that have been badly affected.
“I am mindful also that there has been similar flooding in other parts of our island, particularly in Belfast.
“My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected and whose lives have now been thrown into chaos and vulnerability.
“Equally, I assure all in the emergency services and civic authorities of my solidarity and prayerful support.”
Elsewhere several hours of rain across Belfast and parts of counties Down and Antrim left 1,000 homes without power and 700 people needing the help of emergency services.
Motorists this morning were also battling dangerous conditions in counties Tipperary, Galway, Waterford, Kildare and Westmeath.