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Photos: Rescue efforts under way after severe flood emergency

You might want to stay indoors today, particularly if you live in the west.

imageLimerick man Ger Hogan brings people through the water at St Mary’s Park in Limerick. (Pic: Sean Curtin)

EVEN WITH ALL the warnings, there was little defence from the severe weather for large parts of the country today.

Storm-force winds and high tides combined to create treacherous conditions, particularly along the Atlantic coast, with severe flooding and some damage in Cork, Limerick, Clare, Galway and Kerry.

Some residents had to be rescued from their homes in Limerick after the Shannon burst its banks and left families trapped in their houses.

Local authorities, the HSE and An Garda Síochana are all involved in the response to what has been described as a severe flood emergency in the county.

Flood prevention efforts had been put in place in high-risk areas, but the unprecedented high tide this morning overwhelmed the defences. Emergency services have been working in the county since 6am.

A number of vulnerable people have been rescued from their homes, and the local authorities said the need to evacuate people is being reviewed “on a continual basis”. A community centre in Killeely is being used to care for people removed from their homes.

About 100 local residents in Little Island, Limerick, have been moved to the institute of technology by the Irish Defence Forces.

Water levels in the worst affected areas remain at a very high level, the local authorities said, and the city will be at risk from flooding at high tide until at least Monday.

The heavy winds caused severe damage to the coastal town of Lahinch in Clare, where parts of the promenade were smashed into pieces.

Hundreds of residents in Clare, Kerry and Galway remain without power as a result of the storm damage.

Met Éireann issued an orange alert weather warning for the day, with winds of up to 130 km/h expected and the public have been warned to take care, particularly along the coast.

Galway County Council has urged the public to avoid the coast at times of high tide, and to avoid parking cars in areas liable to flooding.

An Garda Síochána has warned road users to slow down and take care, tweeting: “High winds with damaging gusts & heavy showers across the road network over the coming hours. Bsafe”.

imageThe playground at the promenade at Lahinch in Clare remains closed after it was flooded this morning. (Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)


Children play amid the damage to the promenade at Lahinch in Clare (Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)


Damage to the promenade in Lahinch this morning (Pic: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)


Flood waters in the Lee Estate in Limerick City (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)


Residents navigate flood waters after a flash flood on the Lee Estate in Limerick City (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

imageLocals survey the damage on Athlunkard Street after the River Shannon burst its banks in Limerick City (Pic: Sean Curtin)


Aidan Murnane and Ger Murnane survey the flood damage in their house on Athlunkard Street in Limerick City (Pic Sean Curtin)


Limerick City Fire & Rescue evacuate elderly people from their homes (Pic Sean Curtin) image

Limerick City and County Council workers put sandbags around City Hall ( Pic Sean Curtin)


Well, that’s one use for it… The God Delusion stuck in a door on Athlunkard Street  (Pic: Sean Curtin)

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Residents using a boat to get through the water in Limerick (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)


Workers try to mend the railings at the promenade at Lahinch (Pic: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)


Flood waters in Assumpta Park in Limerick this morning (Pic: Pat Tobin/Twitter)


The Corbally Road in Limerick (Pic: Ronan Costello/Twitter)


The River Shannon overflows onto O’Callaghan Strand in Limerick. (Pic: felix85/Twitter)

imageMill Road in Limerick (Pic: Cathal Shaw/Twitter)


Even with the floods, yo u still have to get the milk in… (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)


The LE Róisín on patrol in Irish waters amid the stormy weather (Pic: defenceforces/Twitter)


Gale force winds cause high waves to batter the promenade at Lahinch at high tide at around 5.45am today. (Pic: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

Batten down the hatches: Storm-force winds batter the country >

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