Sunday 25 June 2017

WATCH - 'It's like the calm before the storm' - Business owner on River Shannon believes restaurant 'could be in the river soon'

Steven Linehan is worried that the flooding will cause extensive damage to his restaurant
Steven Linehan is worried that the flooding will cause extensive damage to his restaurant

Sasha Brady

An riverside restaurant owner fears his business could soon be in the River Shannon as water levels rise to dangerous levels.

Beans and Leaves is a family-run restaurant in Athlone, managed by Steven Linehan and his wife Martina.

The River Shannon at Athlone as water levels contine to rise
The River Shannon at Athlone as water levels contine to rise

Mr. Linehan has spoken about his fears for his business as flooding continues in the area after the River Shannon burst its banks in Athlone on top of “widespread road flooding” nationwide today.

"We're waiting for the river to come over and meet us," he said to Independent.ie

"We could be in the river soon enough but thankfully there's been a good bit of work done over the last couple of days

Read more: Crews work desperately to save homes and businesses from more flooding

"This morning was a bit frightening when we came in. There was an army truck down and army people were putting defences in place. Extra pumps are in.

"All we can do is wait. It's like the calm before the storm."

Mr. Linehan said that business is down about 50pc this week due to the floods. He's worried that people aren't coming into Athlone as they think the entire town is closed due to the extreme weather.

Read more: LIVE: Travel updates across Ireland as weather causes road chaos

"We need people to come back into the town and shop," he said.

In 2009, the Linehans were caught unaware by the flooding but this year the restaurant owner feels more confident that defences are in place early.

The river is expected to break early tomorrow morning and Mr. Linehan is worried that he will not be able to cover the high insurance premium if his restaurant suffers extensive damage.

"Once we do one claim for flood damage, that's us gone."

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