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Get the umbrellas out and ready: Met Eireann has issues a rainfall warning for 18 counties amid cautions that up to 40mm of rain is to be expected.

Leinster and Munster have received the warning, which is in place from 7pm this evening until 7am on Friday morning.

The national forecaster said in a statement to the Independent: "Heavy Rain will spread from the south Thursday evening and night.

While much of today will likely remain clear and dry, "heavy rain will develop in the south and will spread northwards over the southern half of the country by nightfall" with maximum temperatures of up to 22C.

"Heavy rain will spread from the south Thursday evening and night," the national forecaster warned.

"Accumulations of 25 to 40mm will occur over a relatively short time period. Spot flooding is likely," a Met Eireann forecaster said.

Munster is predicted to be the worst affected, as downpours will be heavy with a risk of localised flooding in many areas.

Heavy rain will continue on Friday morning nationwide with a risk of thunder and temperatures of 13C.

The bad weather looks set to continue into the weekend, which is a shame considering the many events taking place in Dublin. Playstival in Airfield Estate and the Wine and Cheese festival in Eatyard are scheduled to go ahead.

Rain will persist in northern parts of the country throughout Saturday and Sunday.

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Due to the news of a potentially devastating hurricane, President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency in Hawaii.

Hurricane Lane was predicted to be the worst storm since Hurrican Iniki in 1992, which claimed the lives of six people and injured over 100 more.

Thankfully, contrary to this dangerous forecast, Hurricane Lane has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Its blustering winds weakened slightly as they drew nearer towards nervous residents but were still charted at a forceful 70mph.

And now, the storm’s impact can be seen wreaking havoc on the islands’ shores, especially hitting the state’s main island, Hawaii.

Floods poured into cities, and families were forced to flee their homes in search of higher ground.

Dedicated surfers refused to let the threatening waters deter them from their daily ride and ignored emergency official’s warning to stay out of the tossing waves on Waikiki Beach.

Three feet of rain covered the Big Island in just 48 hours, shutting down roads in the main town of Hilo as floods rose to waist-deep levels, according to Hawaii News Now.

The National Guard have been working alongside firefighters to rescue tourists and residents from rising waters.

Employees are placing sandbags in front of store fronts in preparation of the floods as they sweep towards their stores.

Emergency shelters have been opened to the public as they are encouraged to seek safety away from unstable homes and beachfront properties.

While Hawaiians are relieved at Hurricane Lane’s downgraded status, its effects are still causing disaster and damage across the state.

Hopefully, newly sent relief crews from other states will help minimise the devastation and aid in rescuing as many people as they can.

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Just when we thought we had seen the back of the bad weather, Met Eireann has issued another weather warning. 

An updated Status Yellow warning has been issued for Munster, Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wexford, Wicklow, Offaly, Galway and Mayo.

The warning is in relation to the extensive flooding which is still impacting many people this morning. 

It also warns that gusts of wind up to 110km/ph can be expected this morning.

Further rain is also anticipated.

The weather is then expected to take a colder turn, with temperatures decreasing and lows of -1 degrees. 

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The status orange weather warning, in place since yesterday morning, has been extended to 3pm today.

Last night, Ireland felt the effect of the first storm of 2018 as winds of up to 140km p/h battered the country, accompanied by sheets of rain.

Many areas are facing flooding this morning, with County Galway being the worst effected.

Many roads have been closed after the waters of the River Cotton rose and caused flooding, as well as roads in Salthill due to high tides.

ESB Networks told The Irish Times that approximately 55,000 customers were without power yesterday evening.

These customers were predominantly in counties Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo, Galway, Cavan and Monaghan.

Motorists are asked to remain vigilant on the roads as strong winds and gusts continue.

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County Laois has been hit dramatically by extensive flooding in the wake of the wet weather. 

The army has been mobilised to assist with the evacuation process.

It is reported that up to 1,000 people are affected by flooding in the midlands county after a number of rivers burst their banks in the heavy rain. 

Homes have been flooded and roads were left completely impassible.

A number of families have been forced from their homes due to the rising waters.

A statement from Laois Country Council reads:

'Laois County Council wish to advise that due to the recent heavy rainfall the N80 is now closed as is many of the adjoining local roads including Ballyfin to Mountmellick Road, Irishtown, Wolfe Tone Street, Manor Lane are all impassible.'

'Currently 21 families in Mountmellick are being evacuated from their homes as a result of the flooding.'

Fire and rescue services have been working tirelessly to assist those impacted by the extensive flooding. 

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Unless you have yet to surface from beneath your bed covers, you'll know that it is one hell of a day out there.

With that in mind, the Gardaí have issued a warning to motorists, in additions to updates on some of the worst affected areas at the moment.

One lane is blocked on the M4 outbound near Maynooth, at junction 4. Gardaí advise motorists to exercise caution on approach.

Local diversions are in place on the N3 Blanchardstown. The road is closed from Clonee Junction 4 inbound and diversions are in place via Damastown Road to the N2, to access the M50.

An earlier collision on the M50 at junction 6 Northbound has now cleared.

Garda are advising that if the road ahead is flooded to use alternative routes if possible, but do not attempt to drive through it.

Gardaí warn that flooded roads which appear shallow could be deeper than you think. People underestimate the force and power of water. They take unnecessary risks and their vehicle could be swept downstream.

A mere ½ ft of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just a foot of rushing water to carry away a small car, while two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. 

It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters. Take extra care at night when it is harder to see flood dangers and drive to the road conditions.

You heard them, ladies.

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If you're full of that classic Friday feeling, we hate to rain on your parade, but the weather for the coming weekend is set to be far from pleasant.

According to the good folk at Met Éireann, we are to expect periods of heavy rain, which will bring with them the risk of local flooding in some areas of the country.

"Warm, humid conditions expected to develop on Sunday and lasting into the early days of next week will bring spells of heavy rain and the risk of local flooding," reads the forecast on the website.

"Details uncertain at this stage but current indications suggest that Northwestern coastal areas will be worst affected."

The national forecasters issued a Status Yellow weather warning as of 1pm this afternoon, and it will remain in place until noon on Tuesday.

Well, that's just top-notch.

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Unless you were very lucky and had a bit of a lie-in this Friday morning, you will probably have noticed that the rain has returned.

We knew the fair weather was too good to last, but we didn't expect it to dissapear quite so soon.

The rain is set to continue into the weekend, with a mix of heavy rainfall and scattered showers. 

Met Eireann is warning that the high levels of rain over the next few days will also bring a risk of localised flooding.

'Mixed weather is expected to continue through much of the outlook period with the potential for some high rainfall accumulations over the next few days, bringing a risk of localised flooding.'

Today is set to be rainy with a risk of thundery downpours. However, it won't get too cold, with temperatures still reaching a potential 18 degrees.

Tomorrow will be cooler with yet more rain, but Sunday will be bright with scattered sun showers. 

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He's one of our fave actors, best known for playing Bunk in The Wire and lesser known for playing Rachel's dad in Suits.

That's why it pains us to say the actor has lost home, 11 years after he lost his childhood home due to Hurrikane Katrina.

Wendell revealed the news on Twitter, saying that the generous response reminded him off when he lost his parent's home more than a decade ago.

The actor wrote on Twitter: "My neighbours & I have flooded in Baton Rouge. I am reminded of the generosity given to my family during Katrina. Now we will care for you."

We hope he can get back on track.

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