Friday 21 October 2016

Families rescued by boat in flood chaos

Floods in Crossmolina, Co Mayo
Floods in Crossmolina, Co Mayo

The remnants of Hurricane Kate brought chaos to western counties as homeowners, businesses and farmers faced a flooding nightmare.

Up to 80mm of rain fell in parts of Donegal and Mayo as council and fire crews were forced to evacuate homes.

In Donegal a bridge in Castlefinn disappeared under flood waters as the communities along the River Finn took the full brunt of the weather.

A dozen guests at a hotel in Ballybofey woke up to find their cars destroyed by the flood waters.

In Donegal town residents of five homes had to be taken by boat from their homes.

The main road out of Letterkenny to Glenties had to be closed off by gardai as the Swilly river burst its banks after 48 hours of non-stop rain.

"Crews were out overnight from Letterkenny, Stranorlar, Ballyshannon, Bundoran and Donegal Town," said Donegal chief fire officer Joe McTaggart.

"The flood waters in these areas were particularly bad due to the sheer volume of rain over practically two days."

In Crossmolina, Co Mayo, the River Deel burst its banks sending flood waters into businesses in the town.

"The water came into the town around 6.30am on Sunday," said Tony Murphy, the deli manager at the Londis shop in the town.

"We were fairly lucky because the water didn't come up too far so it didn't affect the electrics, but it's something we know can happen.

"We had this in 2006 and before that in 1989. There are anti-flood proposals, but we are still waiting for them to be implemented," he said.

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