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Over 100000 homes and businesses across the country without power — Storm Ellen

Mike Purvey Flash flooding on the M25 near Redhill

Ireland has already felt the power of the storm, with power outages from 9.30pm last night affecting almost 200,000 homes and businesses.

Winds of up to 66 miles per hour have been recorded today at Pembrey Sands in Wales as Storm Ellen hit Ireland and western parts of Britain, the Met Office said. Hynes said staff were on standby to fix faults in all areas.

A Status Yellow wind warning remains in place for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo.

What we were ready for was a fairly serious weather event to hit the south, and then all sorts of variable routes for it to pass through the country.

There is also a Weather Advisory in place until 9pm on Friday night, for rain and wind. The rain will clear to showers in the southern half of the country during the morning as the rain continues to push northeastwards, clearing Ulster in the afternoon with showery conditions for the rest of the day.

The Met Office's yellow thunderstorm warnings remain in place across most of England and all of Wales until Monday night.

The warning comes into effect from 5pm this evening and lasts until 5am on Friday.

Due to the combination of storm surge, spring tides and onshore winds, forecasters believe there is a potential risk of coastal flooding.

Large swathes of Cork are still without power, while Limerick, Galway, Tipperary and Westmeath are also badly affected.

The Irish weather forecaster has said that "between 9 pm and midnight, Storm Ellen will produce a core of very severe and destructive winds".