Tuesday 27 September 2016

Residents frightened five foot high floodwater following Storm Frank will force them from homes

Published 30/12/2015 | 16:08

Local Resident Derek Liddy on Dearpark Road Athlone. Picture by Fergal Phillips.
Local Resident Derek Liddy on Dearpark Road Athlone. Picture by Fergal Phillips.

In Athlone, resident Derek Liddy of The Park off Deerpark Road in Athlone told how they have been fighting a battle for the last four weeks against the determinedly rising waters of the Shannon.

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His own home was flooded in 2009 but this time, they have managed to keep the water at bay - for now.

Mr Liddy said that he was exhausted from the effort of manning pumps night and day to ensure that the situation was kept under control.

He brought us to the wall of sandbags built with the help of residents behind which the water was "easily" five foot high, he said.

Overnight, the level had increased and the people of The Park fear that if the bad weather continues they could be forced out of their houses.

"In the summer its idyllic here," he said. But he described the current situation as "frightening."

He and his wife were out of their house for almost an entire year last time while it was being repaired after the floods. "We don't want that situation again," he said, adding that his wife has been finding it extremely stressful because her own mother is currently ill.

The erection of proper flood defences has to be carried out "irrespective of cost," said Mr Liddy.

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