Thursday 25 December 2014

Heroes praised as children saved from deluge

Greg Harkin

Published 07/08/2014 | 02:30

Pound street, Ramelton, was badly affected during Tuesday evening's flash flood with young members of the Ramelton Town Band having to be rescued from the community centre (on left).
Pound street, Ramelton, was badly affected during Tuesday evening's flash flood with young members of the Ramelton Town Band having to be rescued from the community centre (on left).

Community volunteers have been hailed as heroes after rescuing 40 members of a children’s band trapped in a hall by flood waters.

A stream running beside the community hall in Ramelton, Co Donegal, burst its banks sending thousands of gallons of water inside the building.

The force of the water was so strong it lifted a Volvo estate car from a driveway across from the hall and tossed it 25 metres into a garden.

“A small stream beside the hall burst its banks and there was water everywhere,” said local man Marty McDaid.

“The water was pouring into the hall through a back door and the children were lifted on to the stage.

“The water was moving so fast; it was very dangerous but we all managed to stay calm,” he added.

William Blaney ran to the hall to help out.

“I tied a rope between lampposts and walked some of the children through the water that way, then a tractor came along with a trailer and we got the rest of them to safety on the back of that. We’ve never seen anything like that here before. No-one can remember that stream bursting its banks before,” he said.

Eight homes in the same street were ‘ruined’ as the flood waters reached heights of 1.5m.

Mother-of-two Janique Burden was celebrating her birthday with family in nearby Letterkenny when they got news that their home was flooded.

“The whole downstairs of my home is ruined. It will be months before it is all fixed. My car is gone too, it was thrown to the back of my garden,” she said.

Irish Independent

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