Freak storm and floods leave thousands of Irish residents in the dark (VIDEO)

Clerys Department Store remains closed after a part of the roof collapsed

Freak thunderstorms throughout Ireland left thousands of homes without power on Thursday morning, as Irish weather provider Met Eireann issued a weather alert over rainfall less than a week after the country was gripped by a heat wave.

A torrential downpour damaged part of the roof of Dublin’s landmark department store, Clery’s, forcing the store to close for the coming days. A portion of the roof in Dublin's Mater Hospital was also damaged, and a number of patients were assigned to other beds.

ESB crews restored power to thousands of homes after weather related outages. Some 2,000 households in Mullingar, 2,000 in Fermoy, 900 in Ballybeg, Co Wicklow and customers in Midleton, were without power, the Irish Times reports.

Nearly 30mm of rain fell at Met Eireann's station in Glasnevin, north Dublin, during Wednesday night, with the majority coming down within an hour.

Eoin Sherlock, weather forecaster with Met Eireann, said it was an intense downpour over a short period of time.

Flooding was also reported at Trinity College Dublin and on Wexford Street in Dublin on Wednesday night. TCD Student Union education officer Jack Leahy tweeted a photo of flooding at the iconic front arch of the university.

Dublin Fire Brigade took around 100 calls through the night for issues such as flooding, leakages and automatic fire alarms.

A spokesman for the fire brigade told the newspaper: "We've had no rain for 16 days and suddenly a deluge for 16 minutes causes all this trouble. There were fire alarms going off all over the city - again caused by the thunder and lightning."

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