Met Eireann upgrades weather alert to Orange for Munster and Leinster

Many parts of the country is bracing itself for further flooding today as yet another Atlantic storm looks set to hit.

Update at 2.45pm

Around 75,000 homes are still without power this afternoon as ESB crews battle to repair the damage caused by last Wednesday's storms.

Most of the homes still without power are in counties Cork and Kerry.

Paul Hickey from ESB Networks says many of those homes may have to go without electricity through the weekend, and he says the latest round of high winds could mean further delays in restoring service.

Limerick Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed it has responded to more than 220 weather-related emergency incidents throughout the county during the past 48 hours.

The Fire Service said the majority of the incidents responded to related to fallen trees, structural damage to buildings and road traffic incidents.

Limerick Civil Defence also assisted the HSE in relocating patients from the University of Limerick Hospital to various other locations during the storm.

Update at 1.30pm

The boil water notices for 14 areas in County Limerick have been lifted this morning at Anglesboro, Kilfinnane, Bruff, Knocklong, Hospital, Bruree, Herbertstown, Jamestown, Rockhill, Kilteely, Rathkeale, Ballingarry, Foynes and Adare. Ten were lifted last night.

A Limerick Council spokesperson said: “Boil water notices affecting 24 water supplies in total have been lifted after power was restored and subsequent testing of water supplies demonstrated that the water was suitable for consumption. Public water supplies at 20 other locations throughout the county will be tested during today with a view to lifting boil water notices there.”

Clare County Council has confirmed that water supplies have been restored to a number of locations throughout southeast Clare including Shannon, Newmarket on Fergus, Bunratty and Wood Road (Cratloe).

Supply issues may however, continue to be experienced as the reservoirs and network recharge.

The Local Authority is continuing to implement a tankering arrangement in areas currently affected by water shortages.

Alternative water supplies are being provided at a number of locations throughout south-east Clare, including Sixmilebridge, Quin, Cratloe, Kilkishen and Killaloe, as well as Cloonlaheen North in West Clare.

Water tankers will be provided at the following locations:

· Sixmilebridge (in the Square) - 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (approx.)

· Cratloe (in the Church Carpark) - 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (approx.)

· Kilmurry (in the Church Carpark) - 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (approx.)

· Kilkishen (outside the GAA Pitch) - 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (approx.)

· Killaloe (in Supervalu Carpark) - 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (approx.)

· Quin (in the Church Carpark) - 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (approx.)

· Cloonlaheen North (Doologh WTW) - 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (approx)

Members of the public are requested to bring their own water containers. Customers in the affected areas are also advised to boil all water from tankers.

Update at 12pm

Met Éireann has issued an Orange alert for flooding as more high winds and heavy rain is expected.

A massive operation is also continuing to restore power to the 75,000 people in the south who have been without for two nights.

ESB is advising customers in small isolated pockets that faults in West and North Cork may not be fixed this weekend.

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With the latest Atlantic depression set to bring heavy rain to widespread areas later today, electricity supplier ESB said 185,000 customers have been reconnected.

Floods are expected to hit Cork city tonight as heavy rains and high tides combine.

Mike Fitzgerald of ESB Networks says more than 3,000 engineers are working on a huge operation to get everyone back on the grid.

“All available resources have been deployed to restore power to customers as quickly as possible, however we cannot guarantee at this stage when customers will have their power restored,” a spokesman warned.

Tens of thousands are still without phone communications.

The ESB said there are about 2,000 locations nationwide where timber has to be cleared from power lines and its repair crews have needed 1,000 wooden poles, 250km of conductors and 400 transformers to get supplies back up.

Elsewhere, the power cuts have caused safety scares for clean drinking water in some regions of the south east.

Boil water notices were widespread across Co Limerick while 80 supplies in Cork are also feared at risk.

Met Eireann has warned of winds gusting to 110km/h today and a band of heavy rain moving north with snow – 3cm in some places – to hit some parts of Connacht, Ulster and north Leinster.

Weather warning system explained.

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