High winds and flooding wreaked havoc across the country on Wednesday with north Cork and south east Limerick very badly affected.

From the early hours of Wednesday morning torrential rain fell with rising winds speeds, gusts reaching up 170 kilometres per hour just before noon.

The force-11 storm left a trail of destruction in its wake, with fallen trees and telegraph poles blocking roads and resulting in road closures. The road between Mallow and Buttevant at Ballybeg was blocked for a while due to a fallen tree, while north of Charleville a truck overturned. There were road closures between O’Rourke’s Cross and Bruree and between Kilmallock and Ballingaddy, and street closures in Kilmallock and Hospital.

Fallen trees blocked the rail lines between Mallow and Cork and between Mallow and Tralee, resulting in the suspension of rail services. Constant wind speed of 107 kilometres per hour was recorded at Cork Airport, while a small plane over-turned at Shannon Airport, resulting in the suspension of services there for a time. Bus, air and sea travel have also been disrupted.

There were widespread power outages throughout the area with businesses and shops forced to close due to dependence on computers and electronic tills, with many staff sent home. Power was restored in Mallow and Charleville by mid-afternoon as County Council, agen-cies, business owners and householders began to count the cost of the winds, the likes of which, the Met Office say, the country has not experi-enced since 1988.

It was the eighth major storm the country has experienced since December and Met Eireann is forecasting more on the way. They say the country will be at high risk again on Friday.

For now, though, it is the clean-up in the aftermath of Wednesday’s havoc and there is hope that what is due to cross the country on Friday may not be as severe.