A sudden thunderstorm on Tuesday evening in Killarney saw tourists run for cover, roads flood, and shops close early in a weather event not seen for fifty years according to locals.
Walkers, jaunting cars and cyclists in the Killarney National Park in Muckross were caught in the downpour after 5pm when the skies suddenly darkened during a warm fine afternoon.
Volumes of water descended during cracking thunder in the event which lasted almost half an hour.
Fire station officer in Killarney, Paudie Mangan said the fire service were called to Ardshanavooley, a housing development on the eastern side of town at around 5.40 pm and were met with "a river "of water flowing in front of the houses.
“The water flowed with such force it lifted manhole covers,” Mr Mangan said.
In the Killarney town centre where shops open late for the tourist season there was extensive flooding in Chapel Lane with up to six inches of water along the laneway.
Tourists ran for cover.
Major stores like Penneys in High Street were forced to close early after water entered the shop.
Arggg the skies have opened in Killarney pic.twitter.com/KkGjwT0wlv— Ossi Fritsche🇮🇪🇩🇪🇪🇺 (@OssiFritsche) June 25, 2019
Drainage systems have been renewed in the town in recent years but “the sheer volume “ of water was simply too much, Mr Mangan said.
“It was the sheer volume of water that came down so suddenly,” he said.
Meanwhile, locals say it is fifty years or more since they remember such a weather event in June.
Kerry is to experience another weather extreme tomorrow as it is one of six counties that has been issued with a status yellow high-temperature warning tomorrow.
Met Éireann has issued the warning, which is valid from 1pm-7pm on Thursday, has been issued for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick.
Met Éireann said: "Temperatures will be in excess of 27 degrees Celsius, during Thursday afternoon."
The Irish Cancer Society today urged people to use sunscreen and protect themselves.
They say repeated sunburn has been directly linked to skin cancer, with cases in Ireland rising year on year.