Saturday 10 December 2016

'We were promised flood defences but they never came' - mum spends last four weeks trying to save her home from rising flood waters

Greg Harkin

Published 30/12/2015 | 10:17

Una Stroud from Athlone town surveys the damage to her property from her kitchen looking out into her back garden
Una Stroud from Athlone town surveys the damage to her property from her kitchen looking out into her back garden

UNA Stroud fears the worst yet again, but living with water pumps at your home 24/7 has, unfortunately, become part of normal life for the mother of two.

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It’s the fourth week the constant rattle from diesel-fueled pumps have been in action – non-stop – on the Park estate on Athlone's Deerpark Road.

Local people monitor the water levels, whilst the council come along every day to make sure the industrial pumps don’t run out of diesel.

“It’s as if every storm is coming our way. Now it’s time for Frank,” says Una.

“It has become part of life and that’s a horrible thing when you think about it but it’s true.”

The Strouds home was destroyed in the 2009 floods and they haven’t been able to get home insurance since.

With flood waters rising last night the community here is depending on those pumps to save them.

“We were promised flood defences but they never came,” says Una.

But there is no question that she will leave her home.

“People say we should pack up and leave, but this is our home, our home for me, my husband, two children, two dogs and six chickens,” she says.

“Why should we leave? It’s our home at the end of the day and something needs to be done about it the flood defences.

“We were promised in 2009 that something would be done but sure that hasn’t happened.”

Storm Frank, she says, has heightened fears but not to any great extent.

“It’s become normal, a normal part of life but it shouldn’t be,” she adds.

As river levels began to rise again last night local councillor Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran barely has time to speak as he helps local communities.

“A pump has broken down on us,” he says.

“It’s non-stop (the weather) and it’s not going away.”

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