TWO of Ireland's largest urban councils are on high alert as torrential rain and strong winds are expected to batter much of the country today.
Both Dublin and Cork city councils and Cork County Council will be on flood standby as up to 35mms of rain is expected to fall between midday today and midday tomorrow.
While the rainfall will be intense and could lead to spot flooding, meteorologist John Eagleton said the forecast of between 25mms and 35mms is nowhere near the 69mms recorded at Dublin Airport on October 24 last year, which caused mayhem in the capital and claimed the lives of two people.
"This is a one-inch event over 24 hours," he told the Irish Independent. "It's not going to be a nice day but I don't think there will be any health and safety issues."
However he said people should brace themselves for an extremely blustery, rainy and cold day today and tomorrow.
Temperatures are not expected to rise above 10C anywhere in the country and gale force winds off the east coast will make it feel even colder, he said.
Conditions are not expected to improve much over the next few days as a low pressure system hovering over the UK will bring more windy, cold and showery conditions.
But councils were not taking any chances yesterday following the biblical floods that affected the capital last autumn.
A spokesman for Dublin City Council last night said because the amount of rain forecast is unpredictable, sandbags will be deployed strategically in flood-prone areas, while an emergency management team has been put on standby to cope with any spot flooding.
"Owners of premises that consider themselves at risk of flooding are also advised to make provision to defend their own premises. Advice on how to do so is available on the website www.flooding.ie," he said.
Cork City Council will also be on standby and will be keeping a "constant eye on the situation and will act appropriately," a spokesman said.