News Winter Storms

Tuesday 28 February 2017

'I feel that my house and my life is in the ESB's hands' - Woman driven from home by flood misery

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Soldiers from the 12th Battalion, Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick, help deliver sandbags in Clonlara, Co Clare
Soldiers from the 12th Battalion, Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick, help deliver sandbags in Clonlara, Co Clare
Farmland in Clonlara is currently under several feet of water Credit: RTE Nine O'Clock news
Floodwaters at at Carrowkeel Co Sligo. Picture Credit:Frank Mc Grath 10/12/15
Claire Jennings looks out at the flood waters a which surround her home at Ballyfree, Sligo. Picture Credit:Frank Mc Grath 10/12/15

A MOTHER has described feeling "very frightened and sad" as flood waters from the River Shannon continue to rise, threatening the survival of her beloved home.

Geraldine Mason, from Clonlara in South East Clare, lives in a house that she and her husband built in 1995.

The Mason family home is located 1.5 miles from the River Shannon.

Geraldine had strong words to say about the ESB and their management of the flow of the River Shannon.

"The ESB let down (released) the water in 1995 and flooded us.

Read more: Watch: Heartbroken widow tells how 12ft of water 'from tiny stream' engulfed family home

Mike Hogan with his sons Mark and Sean being rescued from their home in Springfield Clonlara, Co Clare, by Civil Defence officers yesterday
Mike Hogan with his sons Mark and Sean being rescued from their home in Springfield Clonlara, Co Clare, by Civil Defence officers yesterday

"I feel that my house and my life is in their hands at the moment.

"I feel they've lost control. With all the rain we had since early November they should have opened the gates sooner," she told RTE Radio One's Sean O'Rourke.

Geraldine initially tried to remain in her home in the aftermath of Storm Desmond, but as water levels rose she decided she would be better off elsewhere as she was likely to "panic."

Read more: Thousands of litres of raw sewage pour onto the streets of Athlone as locals battle filthy flood waters

"I moved out yesterday morning, the water had continued to rise steadily since Saturday night.

"I felt very frightened and sad.

"My husband had to resort to using the tractor the other night to collect me from work.

"I was up all of Tuesday night panicking. It was a relief to leave," she said.

Geraldine told how preparing dinner on Tuesday evening presented her with an unusual problem.

"After I'd boiled the spuds and the veg I realised I had no place to put the water.

Read More: Couple who battled through Storm Desmond floods as baby was about to be born name son 'Noah'

"We've had no toilet for a week.

"I can't even wash myself with a basin of water as there's nowhere to put the water afterwards," she said.

Geraldine emphasised the gravity of the situation when she revealed how close she and her family came to losing their home.

"If the Civil Defence had arrived even half an hour later on Monday night, my house was gone.

"In 1995 our house was flooded and the water formed waves in our sitting room.

"In 2009 the water got into my house again so we built a bank all around the house and only for that the house would have been gone on Monday," she said.

Geraldine became very emotional as she described the lengths her husband is going to in order to protect their home.

Read More: Dáil debate on floods descends into accusations of 'EU bullshit' and political grandstanding

"My husband had a transplant in 2005.

"In 2009 when we had to leave the house while it was flooded.

"At that time he was up and down to the house and also going to his mother's house and his brother's house which were also in danger.

"He ended up in hospital with a urinary tract infection.

"At the moment he won't leave the house and nobody seems to care what happens to us," she said.

Geraldine had praise for the national and local media who she feels are highlighting how bad the situation is around the country.

"I really feel the media are helping us," she said.

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