Met Éireann has issued a number of weather warnings as a spell of very wet and windy weather is expected to hit the entire country over the next few days.

A Status Orange rainfall warning for Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford is currently in effect and will last until 9pm tomorrow.

This will involve very heavy rain tonight and tomorrow, which will likely cause further river flooding and surface water flooding, with total rainfalls of 50-80mm.

A Status Yellow rainfall warning came into effect at 9pm this evening and is valid for 24 hours for Leinster, Connacht, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare and Limerick.

This may lead to some river flooding and localised surface flooding, with total rainfalls of 30-50mm.

A Status Yellow wind warning for Munster, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Sligo also came into operation at 9pm and is in place until 6am tomorrow.

Gusts of up to 110km/h, or possibly higher on exposed coasts, are forecast.

There will also be a risk of coastal flooding and southerly winds will reach mean wind speeds of 50-65km/h.

The Yellow wind warning will then extend to all counties from 6am tomorrow until 6pm.

The UK Met Office has also issued a yellow rain warning for Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry between 2am and 6pm tomorrow.

There is also a yellow wind warning for the same counties between 3am and midnight tomorrow.

Councils in Cork and Kerry prepare for flooding

The ESB is warning of a risk of some flooding downstream of the Inniscarra Dam in Co Cork overnight.

Due to recent heavy rainfall in the catchment area and the Status Orange rainfall warning, the power company had to increase water flows from the dam this afternoon.

The company says the level of flow at 225 cubic metres per second (cumecs) release will cause some flooding of land, and potentially roads, downstream of the dam.

Meanwhile, Cork City Council is warning that up to 80mm of rainfall is expected in parts of the city over the next 48 hours and flooding is expected.

The River Lee and its tributaries, including the Shournagh in Cloghroe, the Bride in Blackpool, the Curraheen in Bishopstown, the Glashaboy River through Glanmire, and the Tramore River through Togher are all likely to burst their banks due to the high rain levels and current ground saturation levels, which may lead to localised flooding.

Motorists are also being warned that the heavy rainfall is likely to cause significant surface water or ponding and will lead to hazardous driving conditions tonight and tomorrow.

People who live in areas all across the city prone to river flooding (rather than tidal flooding) are being warned to take active measures to protect their property.

Sandbags and gel bags can be collected from Angelsea Terrace and Tramore Valley Civic Amenity Site from 8am in the morning.

The City Council's out-of-hours emergency number is 021-4966512. Its Customer Service Unit can be contacted between 9-5pm on 021-4924000. 

Cork County Council said it is at its highest level of preparation with crews clearing inlets, gullies and known flood risk areas across Cork county.

Flood barriers in Fermoy and Mallow are being installed to their highest levels. In Mallow, Longfields Bridge and Park Road, as well as Killavullen Bridge in Killavullen, will close when necessary.

Pumps are being deployed in Bantry, Dunmanway, Skibbereen, Bandon, Clonakilty, N25 (east of Castlemartyr) and a JCB is being deployed in Rosscarbery.

Staff will be monitoring all known problem locations throughout the night, tomorrow and into Wednesday.

In Skibbereen, Rossa Road has been closed with sandbags in place.

In Clonakilty, measures have been put in place at the end of the Timoleague Road.

In Rosscarbery, culverts have been inspected and staff are on standby.

Sandbags have been deployed to known flood locations across the county.

Cork County Council is warning motorists to avoid driving through flowing or standing water, and to exercise caution during heavy rain.

Issues such as fallen trees, flooding and road damage should be reported to the council's emergency out-of-hours number, 021-4800048.

The council said it will continue to monitor the situation and its Severe Weather Assessment Team who met this afternoon will convene as required over the next 48 hours.

Kerry County Council is also warning the public of the risk of river flooding and surface water flooding with up to 80mms of rainfall expected, higher in mountainous regions.

The local authority's Severe Weather Assessment Team has mobilised crews to be on standby to respond to emergency call-outs.

Road users across the county are being asked to exercise caution for the duration of the weather alert.

Rainfall levels are expected to be particularly high in mid-Kerry and south Kerry, but all parts of the county will see significant rainfall in the next 24 hours.

Kerry County Council's severe weather emergency phoneline will be available outside of office hours on 066-7183588.

Additional reporting: Jennie O'Sullivan