independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Homeowners tells of shock floods: 'I got my wife out and into the boat'

Raymond O'Carroll at Island View Terrace, Limerick, where his home was flooded. Picture: BRIAN GAVIN/PRESS 22
Raymond O'Carroll at Island View Terrace, Limerick, where his home was flooded. Picture: BRIAN GAVIN/PRESS 22

I THOUGHT I was dreaming and had left the tap running downstairs.

It was like one of those relaxation tapes where you can hear the water flowing. But then I heard this gushing.

I went down the stairs and as I put my foot on the floor it went straight into the water. I walked towards the hall door but I knew I could not open it. It was gushing straight in.

I tried to block it with a brush, and block the letterbox, but to no avail. It was coming through the cracks.

It started at my ankles and then it was above my knees.

My wife Susan was roaring at me, 'Get out of it' and my heart sank. I bought my house in 1982, an old house, and we put so much into it.

My daughter Sarah (21) is diabetic and Susan has a heart condition and this hasn't helped her.

I went upstairs to dry myself and I closed my eyes for about two seconds hoping it was a dream, but it wasn't.

I packed a few belongings and got my wife out of the house and into the boat – a boat on our street.

It looked ancient, like something out of 'The Flintstones' but we got all the people out.

One man didn't want to go but we talked him around. We had to get him out of an upstairs window.

I'm still in a state of shock and I don't know if I'm coming or going, or what day I have. I rang in to work this morning and they said not to worry about it, to take a few days off.

I went back to my house on Sunday and got the Hoover to try and clean up, but most of the damage is under the floorboards, behind the walls and the tiles.

I don't want to be vulgar but this was raw sewage and to have this seep into your house is not nice. Everything is contaminated.

Even old photographs and memorabilia I had collected – old medals of my son's from his days playing soccer with Star Rover – all gone.

I couldn't hold on to them because I was told everything was contaminated.

That was the hardest part.

We're asking the Government for help.

It's a national tragedy and we just want our losses reimbursed. We don't want any handout just a couch for a couch or a cooker for a cooker. I'm pleading with them to see sense and, for once, just everyone work together to help the people.

Irish Independent

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