Islands off the Irish coast have been worst hit by the relentless pounding so far with a resident of Inishbofin of the Galway coast describing the weather as “the worst in living memory.”
Met Eireann forecaster Pat Clark stated “We have had worse storms in the past in terms of wind, but this time we had high tides as well so the critical factor here has been the combination of all of these weather events; high winds, heavy rain and high seas all together.”
The forecaster said a ‘huge storm’ currently in the middle of the Atlantic is responsible for the current conditions.
He added: “It is feeding the high winds, high seas and heavy rain over Ireland.
Ferry services have already been canceled and airline passengers warned of major delays as the latest storm hits Ireland.
Thundery rain will lead to major flooding according to the national weather service, Met Eireann, which issued an orange storm warning.
Towns and villages recovering from last week’s storms are now bracing themselves for another battering with high seas in excess of 40 feet expected on the south and west coasts.
Clarke told Independent.ie that heavy thundery rain will be widespread across the country.
He has warned of flooding near the coasts in the west and south west and in low lying areas like the Shannon estuary and in Cork and Kerry inland.
Clarke also warned that the stormy weather will last into Tuesday.
He told the paper: “The south and south-west coast will bear the brunt of these conditions with a very high risk of coastal flooding, but also some spot flooding inland.
“At the moment, it doesn’t look like the storm center will be coming in over Ireland, but it will continue to throw this poor weather in our direction.
“It will be Wednesday before the country returns to normal winter weather.”
Galway and Lahinch, Co Clare were two of the worst hit areas over the weekend with storm damage expected to cost in the region of $300million countrywide.
The Irish Coast Guard has strongly advised the public to continue to avoid exposed coasts, cliffs, or any other coastal areas during the storms, according to the Irish Independent.
Coast Guard manager Declan Geoghegan said: “Huge waves can be whipped up by high seas. These waves can pose hazards to anyone close to the shoreline.”
The report adds that already the lighthouse on Inishbofin Island off the Galway coast, the most westerly landmark in the country, was put out of action by gale force winds which caused the light to disappear into the sea at the height of the storm.
Islander Patricia Coyne said: “These storms of the last week have been the worst in living memory. The damage to the lighthouse was the worst of all.
“There is no light now and I suppose you could say no lighthouse either. It’s gone completely and we’ve never seen anything like it.”
Human remains were also disturbed in Galway cemeteries along the coast by the pounding seas and gale-force winds.
Local politician Trevor O Clochartaigh said: “It is distressing for everyone to see such damage. A huge wall which was protecting the graveyard has been knocked and the sea just spilled in and did all the damage.”
PHOTOS - High tides and second massive storm hammers Ireland's coastlines
Here’s some amazing footage taken at Inishbofin island, Co. Galway: