More than 2,000  homes are without power as Storm Bella sweeps across the country tonight.

Met Éireann has issued two Status Yellow warnings with heavy rain and strong winds forecast.

ESB networks says over 430 homes have lost power in Co Offaly, with Tullamore the worst affected area.

More than 600 homes in parts of Co Cork and Co Kerry are also affected, with the remaining cuts spread across counties Clare, Limerick Galway, Mayo, Waterford and Offaly. 

According to ESB's PowerCheck website, power is expected to be restored to most affected homes overnight.

Gusts of up to 110km/h are forecast as the storm tracks over Ireland during the course of the evening and tonight.

A Status Yellow wind warning came into effect at 12pm and will remain in place until 3am tomorrow with winds of up to 65km/h forecast.

The forecaster said that with the combination of strong winds, high waves and a storm surge, there is a risk of coastal flooding along the west coast.

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A Status Yellow rain warning is in place from 3pm until 4am tomorrow as heavy rain moves southwards over the country with localised flooding possible in some areas.

A separate Status Yellow warning for snow and ice comes into effect for Donegal and Letrim at 6am tomorrow, with wintry showers and a risk of icy stretches on untreated surfaces.

The warning will be in place until 8pm.

Snow and ice warnings will also be in place tomorrow for Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry with rain, sleet and snow forecast through tomorrow night into Monday morning with the potential for icy surfaces and some travel disruption.

In the UK, an amber wind warning, which warns that travel could be disrupted, has been issued for parts of south Wales and across southern England.

Meanwhile, a yellow warning of wind for the whole of England and Wales, as well as the far south of Scotland, has also been issued and came into force 3pm.

A yellow warning for rain has also been issued for parts of Scotland, Wales and much of north and south-west England, including areas where there has already been flooding from recent downpours.

Flood defences installed in Ironbridge, Shropshire, ahead of Storm Bella

Bedfordshire Police yesterday "strongly urged" residents living near the River Great Ouse in north Bedfordshire to seek alternative accommodation due to fears of flooding.

Northamptonshire Police urged people to stay away from the Billing Aquadrome holiday park, after hundreds were evacuated on Christmas Eve due to high water levels on the River Nene.

The force said water levels had reached 1.52m in some places, with emergency services using boats to take residents in the worst-hit areas to safety.

Most of those evacuated were able to find overnight accommodation with friends and family, with a special exemption from Covid-19 restrictions, while about 100 people were transferred to a hotel.


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Additional reporting PA