Large parts of Cork City centre are under several inches of water this morning, with South Mall described as "a lake".
Water is cascading down Oliver Plunkett Street and adjacent streets, with desperate businesses working tirelessly to keep the waters from their doors.
Traffic issues are emerging throughout the city as the quaysides are swamped with water and a number of streets are closed.
Water is pouring down Oliver Plunkett St at 8.48am this morn.— Cork City Council (@corkcitycouncil) October 20, 2020
Your heart goes out to city’s traders so pls folks, when we get the place cleaned up #shoplocal like never before @LEOCorkCity @CBA_cork @CorkChamber #COVID19ireland pic.twitter.com/a94vxhYg4j
- Sharman Crawford Street
- Pembroke Street
- Cornmarket Street
- Princes Street
- The South Mall
- Morrison's Quay
- Wandesford Quay
Union Quay is also flooded but is passable through George's Quay, officials say.
Motorists have been asked to avoid the city centre before 10am this morning.
Cork City Council is continuing to warn of a ‘significant risk of flooding’ in low lying areas of the city, and in and around the quays.
A yellow rainfall warning remains in place until 3pm this afternoon.
High tide was at 8.35am and has likely coincided with the usual rush-hour traffic in the city centre.
Further road closures and diversions are expected to be put in place over the next couple of hours.
Both Cork City Council and Met Éireann are advising that the flood risk has increased since last night, due to high winds.
The storm surge last night is believed to have risen to 2.6m, though rainfall overall has been heavier this morning than it was last night.
No property damage has yet been reported, but business and property owners have been advised to take measures to protect their properties.
Speaking this morning, Cork City Council Head of Services, David Joyce expressed his concern that the combination of wind and sustained rain overnight would push water levels even higher.
He said: "The winds are muting to gale force in a south, south easterly direction, which is causing a very significant storm surge, which is going to have a significant impact on the level of astronomical spiring tides that were having today.
Mr Joyce also noted that several cars on the Union Quay area of the city narrowly avoided being flooded by rising waters.
He said: “They were very very lucky, the water approached the base of the doors, but we don’t believe it went in to any of the vehicles.
"As you can imagine, if the water gets higher that the sill of the door, there is a possibility that water will never your vehicle."
The Council has urged people in Cork city centre, not to treat floodwaters “as an amenity”, noting that they can contain hazards like sewerage, bacteria and viruses and discarded sharp objects.