Two thousand homes in Ireland have lost power after Storm Eva crossed the country. County Cork and County Wicklow were the worst affected, where 800 homes were without electricity on Thursday (24 December) evening.

Armed Forces are on standby as the UK faces a Christmas flooding crisis, with more severe weather expected in the north of the country. Twenty-nine flood warnings – meaning floods are likely-have been issued by the Met Office, with six in England, 21 in Scotland and two in Wales. A further 86 flood alerts - meaning floods are possible - have also been issued across England, Scotland and Wales. An Environment Agency spokesman said: "We are monitoring the situation closely and will issue further flood alerts and warnings if required."

The Met Office said 150mm is expected to fall over higher ground in Cumbria with 60-80mm at lower levels and 70mph winds. Weather forecasters say rain could be persistent and heavy. Flood warnings have been issued in Scotland for late Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Seven hundred Environment Agency staff and military personnel are being deployed and the Army is preparing to bolster flood defences in Cumbria using sandbags.

Speaking after an emergency Cobra meeting on Wednesday, the Environment Secretary Liz Truss said: "We are deploying 700 people from the Environment Agency, we will be deploying military personnel as well, looking at what the potential scenarios are.

"We are still too far out to have an exact prediction of the weather but we do know there will be further storms, probably on Boxing Day. So we are making sure we have all the resources ready to go should they be needed."

Ms Truss said the Government was doing all it could to help people after the flooding Sky News reports. She said: "We have put forward £60m in terms of support for repairs, for communities to get back on their feet and we are also supporting on the ground through local councils in terms of making sure that people have homes, making sure that the roads get back up and running, so we are doing all we can."

Police are warning drivers and residents to exercise extreme caution in the adverse weather. Cumbria Police are urging motorists travelling by road over Christmas to "adapt their driving style" and be aware of changing weather conditions. "Please do not in any circumstance ignore road closure signs and continue on your journey," said Chief Inspector Matt Kennerley. "Driving through flood water is extremely dangerous as you cannot determine the depth."