Met Eireann has issued an orange rainfall warning.

Orange rainfall warning issued

Residents, communities and businesses across Cork have been asked to take precautions as a very serious imminent weather event is on the way.

Met Eireann has issued an orange rainfall warning from 7pm today, Monday 22 February, which will continue until tomorrow night.

Cork city

Rainfall of up to 80mm is expected and is likely to cause significant surface water or ponding and could lead to hazardous driving conditions tonight and tomorrow.

Furthermore, many of the rivers across the city will likely burst their banks due to the rain levels and current waterlogged nature of the ground. This may lead to localised flooding.

Cork City Council is advising people who live in areas all across the city prone to river flooding, not tidal flooding, to take active measures to protect their property.

Director of Operations, David Joyce, said: "People living and working in areas prone to river flooding are advised that sandbags and gel bags are available at our Anglesea Terrace Depot and Tramore Valley Park Civic Amenity Site up to 7pm (Monday) for your protection."

If you need emergency help, contact Cork City Council' Customer Service Unit at 021-4924000 from 9am-5pm or the out of hours emergency number at 021-4966512.

Cork county

Given recent rainfall and with ground already saturated, this forecasted heavy rainfall will further elevate river and groundwater levels and may result in river flooding.

The ESB Hydroelectric dam at Inniscarra is currently releasing water at approximately 150 cubic metres per second. Cork County Council has been advised that the discharge will increase beyond this level and this is likely to lead to flooding of roads, land and property downstream.

Cork County Council’s Severe Weather Assessment Team convened this morning to finalise arrangements in advance of this weather warning. The council is at its highest levels of preparation and has deployed crews to several known risk locations in all parts of the county.

Crews are currently clearing inlets and gullies across Cork County. Sandbags and pumping arrangements will be in place across several locations in known problem locations.

The Ross Road in Skibbereen will be closed in order to facilitate the opening of an inlet.

Flood barriers have been erected in Fermoy and Mallow with the early warning systems in place. The barriers have been erected to current levels which do not necessitate the requirement to close roads, but some parking spaces have been closed off to facilitate barrier erection. This may change throughout the course of today in order to facilitate the erection of the flood barriers to their highest levels if required.

Cork County Council is advising road users to exercise extreme caution as driving conditions may be hazardous with surface flooding possible or fallen trees and branches. Motorists are advised to avoid driving through flowing or standing water and to exercise caution during heavy rain. Motorists are also asked to be conscious of cyclists and pedestrians.

Cork County Hall will be closed to the public tomorrow, Tuesday, and potentially Wednesday on a precautionary basis due to the risk of flooding. This is due to the predicted rainfall and saturated land in the catchment area of the river Lee.

Property owners are advised to take precautions in low lying areas or areas susceptible to flooding.

Issues such as fallen trees, flooding and road damage should be reported to the council’s emergency out of hours number at 021-4800048.

In the event of disruption to power supply, contact ESB Networks at 1850-372999. Fallen or grounded wires should be avoided, and the public are advised call ESB in assisting with the identification of location of fallen wires.

In the event of disruption to water supply, contact Irish Water at 1850-278278.

Cork County Council will continue to monitor this situation and convene as required over the next 48 hours. The council will provide updates on and on the council’s social media channels @Corkcoco.