Wednesday 18 October 2017

Limerick residents feel like 'sitting ducks' as Shannon floods gardens

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan visited Colm Walsh in his flooded back yard in Limerick while out canvassing. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan visited Colm Walsh in his flooded back yard in Limerick while out canvassing. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

David Raleigh

Residents living on the Corbally Road in Limerick have described their homes as "sitting ducks" after floodwaters breached a two-metre embankment and overwhelmed their back gardens.

Shortly before 6am, the River Shannon crept into their gardens before stopping just metres from their kitchens.

The river was lapping just beneath the door of Colm Walsh's home.

"In 2014 we were wiped out here with the floods when it came in the back door and the front door, and we had to move out of the house for six months," he explained.

"We had no insurance after that. The houses are worthless now," he said. "When the house flooded the last time, it cost us around €35,000 to repair it."

He said the council built an embankment at the rear of the houses and laid sandbags on top of that covered with stones, but this was not enough to stop yesterday's second-ever highest tide in Limerick.

"We saw the council's flashing lights and staff about 5.30am. Within 20 minutes, the (floodwater) was right up and as far as the sandbags here about three foot from the back door.

"I want something done. I want something done," he shouted in frustration.

"It's the stress that's the worst of it ... This can't go on."

Looking out on the river that is now his back garden, Mr Walsh shook his head: "All the swings and slides for the grandkids are destroyed."

The floodwater destroyed everything in its wake, including neighbour Anne Mercieca's car which was completely submerged.

"We won't be compensated for that either," she sighed.

"I feel like we should just go into the River Shannon. We're just sitting ducks," she said.

Seven homes were flooded on the Mill Road in Corbally and Askeaton in the west of the county.

Irish Independent

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