Dramatic photos emerge of bridge collapse, park-and-ride vehicles being washed away as flash floods hit country
- Parts of the north and west flooded after four inches of rain fell in just 24 hours
- Month's worth of rain falls in a day - says Met Éireann
- Thousands of homes left without power
- Motorists have had to abandon their vehicles in parts of Donegal and Derry
- The Fire and Rescue Service of Northern Ireland dealt with 60 incidents in just a few hours
Dramatic photographs and videos are emerging online hours after the north and north-west of the country experienced never-before-seen weather conditions.
Met Eireann forecaster John Eagleton said the rain was more akin to something you would see in continental Europe rather than Ireland.
The storm swept in from the Atlantic before hitting Donegal and then covering Northern Ireland.
Parts of the north and north west were hit with flooding as four inches of rain fell in just 24 hours.
Driving conditions in parts of Donegal and Derry were horrendous with many motorists having to abandon their vehicles. The Foyle Arena in Derry was opened as a rest centre due to number of motorists stranded by floods in the city.
Thousands of homes were also left without power and an Armagh swimming pool had to close because of the flooding.
The Fire and Rescue Service of Northern Ireland said it dealt with 60 incidents, mainly in the west related to flooding - in some cases people had to be rescued from their cars.
Photographs on social media site show the aftermath of the floods, including a bridge collapse in Claudy, Co Derry.
I took this video tonight in Drumahoe, cars being washed away from park and ride car park. pic.twitter.com/8PyMnC6OVC— Craig Lamrock (@lamrock52) August 23, 2017
Locals awoke this morning to find the bridge impassable, and the centre of the bridge washed away.
Meanwhile, video footage has emerged of vehicles which were parked in a park-and-ride at Drumahoe, Co Derry being washed away in flash floods.
Thunderstorms and deluge swamp Elaghbeg, Inishowen 21/8/17 pic.twitter.com/adqwCpV59t— Brian Hutton (@magicbathtub) August 22, 2017
Forecaster Mr Eagleton said: "There was a band of rain that crossed right over the north west and Northern Ireland. It was very very intense and was closer to something you would see in parts of continental Europe rather than Ireland."
The forecaster said around four inches of water fell in just 24 hours.
"To put that into context. On a really wet day in Dublin you would typically get around an inch of rain. This is four to five wet days condensed into one. Approximately a month's rain fell in a day."
One local woman told RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland; "The weather has been atrocious.
"We've seen cars being taken away on tow-vans, everything.
"They're actually walking four foot into the water.
"That's how deep the water is with the floods."
Another said; "I have never seen anything like this. It was terrifying. When I saw the water come over the bonnet of the car, I was actually terrified."
Worst drive of my life from Sligo tonight and now stranded in Derry with no acces to Home in Donegal worst weather I've ever seen pic.twitter.com/ho94Lz1q76— Brian Mc Dermott (@ChefBrianMcD) August 22, 2017
Today will be much better with dry and sunny spells across the country.
However, there are a number of traffic diversions in place in the north-west of the country this morning, including a number of roads and bridges closed.
AA Roadwatch have also reported Gráinne's Gap is closed due to mudslides.
In Cavan, The main road near Lough Gowna is reportedly impassable following flooding. The Bawnboy/Ballinamore Rd is also closed near Boley due to flooding.
Motorists in Sligo have been warned by AA Roadwatch that the Carraoe/Sligo Road is closed at Dooney Rock after flooding.
They also report that "there's approximately flooding 2km on the Sligo Town side of Geevagh."
AA Roadwatch has issued some advice for people who will be driving in flooded areas.
They said: "Following yesterday's weather warnings, some routes in the north and northwest are still affected by excess surface water and flooding.
"Don't drive through water unless you're sure it's not too deep for your vehicle.
"If you have to drive through standing water, do so slowly and in the centre of the road as it tends to be the highest point.
"Use a low gear to keep your revs high and don't take your foot off the accelerator as otherwise water can get into your exhaust."
Photos have also emerged of shocking floods in Carndonagh, Co Donegal.