A social worker who drove to safety as waves broke around her during Storm Eleanor said God would protect her.

Social media footage showed Selina Callaghan driving along the surging waterline, but she said she was seeking safety and a car park exit.

The 28-year-old, from Donegal, said she was "cool, calm and collected" and compared the experience with a walk in the park.

She had been celebrating the New Year with friends in Galway and was watching the growing swell from the promenade at Salthill last night.

She said: "Yesterday was like a walk in the park, fire is much more harmful than water, you just need to respect the water and it will respect you."

Status Orange weather warnings were issued for Tuesday as Storm Eleanor swept across Ireland, bringing gusts of up to 130km/h and flooding in some areas.

There was extensive flooding around Galway city centre after high tides caused extensive flooding.

Ms Callaghan and a couple of friends were watching the storm yesterday, and moved their cars to the back of the car park as the water came closer.

"It happened that quick, by the time we parked there, literally the waves were coming, the water was getting deeper and deeper, nearly coming into our cars. The panic stations were on for my friend. I was like, 'just relax'."

Ms Callaghan said she was not afraid. "Only by the grace of God I get through everything."

She said she knew exactly what she was doing.

"I would not put myself in a risky situation, I am literally heading out of a risky situation, I am not putting myself at any form of risk."

Some cars were abandoned in Oranmore as roads were blocked while others in a car park in Salthill were partially submerged.

The clean-up operation following Storm Eleanor is continuing.