Hundreds of people are without power across Cork City and County as heavy rain and strong winds continue to cause disruptions.
Power outages have been reported in Glanmire, Whitechurch, Carrigtowhill, Bealnablath, Dunmanway, Rathmore and Macroom. ESB crews are currently working on the faults.
A cursory inspection of the city centre and its surrounding areas such as Glanmire, Carrigrohane, and the Mardyke suggested that Cork had escaped the worst of any overnight flood threat.
The rain, while extremely heavy at times, did not give rise to the mass pluvial flooding that emergency workers and council staff had feared. But officials have cautioned that just because the city and county had largely escaped a significant event so far, potentially peak times for danger were still ahead.
Caution and preparedness remain the priority for residents and businesses alike, they said.
🚨Blue Watch crews are dealing with numerous fallen trees across the city.— Cork City Fire Brigade (@CorkCityFire) February 23, 2021
🚦Lane restrictions are currently in place on the Tivoli dual carrigway.
⚠️Please use caution when travelling today. #corktraffic #cork #staysafe pic.twitter.com/pZPJMytQN6
Council staff were out around the Carrigrohane road before 7am to put up warning signs for motorists braving the conditions, as spots of surface flooding began to emerge.
The Lee Fields were largely submerged underwater, but nearby facilities such as the Kingsley Hotel and County Hall, so damaged in 2009 during the last great flood, appeared to be in little danger so far this morning.
Glanmire, also prone to devastating flooding for residents in the past, held firm overnight with none of the particularly vulnerable housing estates seeing any damage as of yet, although there remained a cautious and prepared vibe in the air for those gauging conditions around 8am.
Blackpool, which has been historically pummelled when serious flooding occurs throughout the city, also escaped any damage overnight, with the much-maligned culverts holding firm so far.
Surface water remained the biggest issue for residents and motorists moving in the area around 8am, with Watercourse Road closed and diversions into the city via Gerald Griffin St.
The first casualties of the onslaught of rain in Cork this morning were almost 3,000 homes in the Douglas area, which lost power during the night.
The ESB fault line reported that the homes lost power around 4am, but that its engineers continued to work on the fault, and it was on course to be restored after 5am.
By 6.30am, just 20 homes were left in the dark, according to the ESB, with an estimated restoration after 8am.
Otherwise, ominous surface flooding had been gathering since around 8pm on Monday, in flood-prone areas such as Blackpool and the Carrigrohane Road, and by midnight had proved to be enough for cars to get stuck or be at risk of aquaplaning if sensible precautions were not taken.
Cork City Council last night closed the Lee Road, the Cloghroe Road and Inniscarra Road.
Many other roads across the city have surface water and ponding including the Carrigrohane Road, Inchigaggin Lane and roads between Inniscarra and the city.
There are reports of an overturned car on the N22 between Macroom and Lissarda. Emergency services are at the scene.
A status orange rainfall warning is in place for Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford until 9pm, with up to 80mm forecast to fall in places.
Cork City Council director of services David Joyce warned those who thought that the worst of the rainstorm was over during the night to stay alert.
“This is early days, and while the rain wasn’t as heavy overnight as what it could have been, there is still a long way to go. We would urge people to take as many precautions to protect themselves as possible,” he said.
Cork City is at risk of serious flooding, with city council officials saying this will be a 48-hour event.
City council crews had been working through the night to fight localised outbreaks and danger spots, with road closures such as Cloghroe and the Lee Road necessary, and areas such as Inchagaggin Lane and the Carrigrohane Road being monitored closely.
Mr Joyce said water levels in the Shournagh tributary of the River Lee were rising rapidly and could pose a significant risk.
The city’s flood plan has been activated and the Defence Forces are on standby.
Sandbags and gel bags can be collected from Anglesea Terrace and Tramore Valley Civic Amenity Site from 8am this morning.
Director of Roads at Cork County Council, Padraig Barrett, says its crews have been working through the night finalising flood defences.
"So we've pumps on standby in Bantry, Dumnamway, Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Roscarbery, Bandon and in Midleton.
"In North Cork, on the Blackwater River, the flood defences have been erected in Mallow to mode three and in Fermoy to mode seven which are the highest levels in both towns, so that's an unprecedented move."
A similar status yellow alert is in place across the rest of the country, while a wind warning is in place for eight counties