Parts of the west coast of Ireland have taken a battering by Storm Elsa.
The Salthill in Galway city appeared one of the worst hit areas, as a storm surge flooded the popular coastal area on Wednesday night.
Social media footage captured cars being swamped with water as waves pounded the area during high tide.
Sameh Mohamed, a Galway resident who was caught in the storms, said some of the owners of the vehicles rushed to retrieve them, but said some “are just stuck now”.
Some of the owners had apparently been in the nearby cinema when the waves started overtopping.
The area was closed off by the authorities when the flooding started.
Very windy tonight with severe and damaging gusts in parts of Connacht for a time. Showery rain will gradually clear northwards with clear spells and scattered showers following. Lowest temperatures of 5 to 8 degrees in strong to gale force southerly winds, veering southwest. pic.twitter.com/RhosJnR37y— Met Ãireann (@MetEireann) December 18, 2019
Galway County Council warned residents to “stay indoors”.
“Do not venture outdoors unless absolutely necessary,” the council tweeted.
“Crisis Management Team of GCC, Fire Service and Gardai on site.
“Advice is not to venture out. Wind and rain making Salthill area and along coasts treacherous. Trees and debris on many roads. Stay safe!”
â ï¸â ï¸STORM UPDATEâ ï¸â ï¸— Cllr. Eddie Hoare (@EddieHoareFG) December 18, 2019
Salthill, The Spanish Arch and The Galway Docks are badly flooded. High tide is not forecasted until 23:00 so this will get far worse for homes and businesses in the areas affected.
A full emergency response has been issued by The Chief Executive of GCC. pic.twitter.com/M36iLe82Yp
Met Eireann issued an orange wind warning on Wednesday evening for counties Galway and Mayo, with gusts of up to 120km/h forecast.
The severity of storm had not been anticipated. The orange warning was issued only an hour before it came into effect.
The forecaster had earlier issued an orange warning for County Cork, which passed at 9pm.
The rest of Ireland is covered by a yellow wind warning until Thursday morning.