Farm Ireland

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Video: Aerial footage shows damage to farmland in North West - 'I wanted to cry when I saw this devastation'

FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Farmers in the North West are counting the cost of this weeks torrential rain which resulted in flood waters causing devastation to farmland across a number of counties.

A farmer in the Tyrone village of Gortin, who did not wish to be named, lost three large chicken sheds in the flood.

A torrent of water raged down the mountain, flattening trees, drowning livestock and crashing into his chicken sheds, knocking down brick walls and drowning thousands of chickens housed within. The water was 7ft deep.

"I am a farmer with a family of four children," he said. "I wanted to cry when I came here early this morning and saw this devastation. This is my livelihood."

Margaret Crawford, who lives in nearby Magherabrack Road, said that livestock was lost in the deluge and that the water running past her house and down the mountain was like a "raging river".

"It was awful here last night," she said. "There were a lot of lambs and sheep caught up in the flood. Their bodies are stuck on the fences all around.

"One of the farmers lost a cow which has been swept away.

"The posts and barbed wire are down on a lot of the fields around here, just flattened by the force of the water.

Also Read

"I was afraid to go outside my house last night. The lightning was right above our house. The water that was coming down the two sides from the mountain was like a massive raging river. I could hear it thundering past."

A bridge collapsed at Carrickmore and at nearby Scotchtown a large, ancient stone bridge fell into the overflowing river and across the countryside debris - including dead animals, trees and stones - piled up against fences.

A man looks at a tractor which has fallen into a hole after a road collapsed in Iskaheen. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A man looks at a tractor which has fallen into a hole after a road collapsed in Iskaheen. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A sheep farmer told how his flock had a lucky escape after they were caught out by rising floodwaters.

A neighbour alerted sheep and cattle farmer Eamonn Strain, Burnfoot, Co Donegal that his flock of Suffolk ewes were in danger of drowning as the waters rose swiftly on Tuesday night.

“I went out into the field and the Burnfoot river is normally only about five or six metres wide but it went out to about 20 metres. It had never even overflowed before,” he said. “We had no warning.”

After going out into the field, he spotted that luckily his 190 ewes had headed for a slip of high ground in the field and were stranded up on it overnight. It was 6am the following morning before Mr Strain was able to return to check the flock.

Luckily, he said the floodwaters had subsided and there was enough room for the sheep on the elevated ground to survive. “I was able to lead them back down,” he said.

The farmer described how it began raining around 3pm but the fall turned torrential at about 6pm.

“I’ve never seen anything like it – there are five bridges around this area that are washed away completely,” said Mr Strain.

In a parish nearby, a farmer and his son had a lucky escape after their tractor toppled over as a bridge collapsed underneath them.

Another farmer lost 160 bales of silage to the rising floodwaters of the Cranna river.

For Stories Like This and More
Download the FarmIreland App

Online Editors

Get the latest news from the FarmIreland team 3 times a week.

More in Rural Life