A 97-YEAR-OLD woman was one of a number of Foynes residents who were evacuated after 40 homes and businesses were hit by unprecedented flooding in the early hours of Friday morning, which resulted in the closure of the village to traffic for a number of hours.
More than two feet of water flooded the main street after flood defence barriers were breached around 5 a.m. on Friday, resulting in about 12 homes being evacuated.
On receipt of a weather warning from Met Éireann on Thursday, the local authority issued a flood warning to the local community. Sandbags were distributed and other flood protection measures were put in place, while units from Limerick Fire & Rescue Service pumped water away from vulnerable properties.
However, a record high tide on the Shannon Estuary - where The Shannon Foynes Port Company recorded a tide of 6.8m - caused a section of a retainer wall to collapse, resulting in the floods at around 7am. The water could not be completely contained and 40 premises, including homes and businesses, were affected. The N69 was also closed for a number of hours on Friday morning.
Limerick County Council's senior engineer, Pat O'Neill, said the flooding last week was the worst seen in the village in some time.
"It's as bad as it has been in my memory certainly," he said.
The council's Home and Community section, together with the HSE have visited the affected residents and are liaising with them in relation to any accommodation needs. The local community has also been providing assistance to those affected by the flooding.
Once again, residents and business people in Foynes are now calling for more flood prevention measures for the village to prevent such disastrous scenes from happening again.
Elsewhere, the N21 through Adare was also closed for a time on Friday due to severe flooding.