Monday 19 August 2019

Elderly couple 'up to their waists in flood water' evacuated

Maura (78) and John-Joe (88) McElligott from Listowel, Co Kerry. Photo: Dominick Walsh
Maura (78) and John-Joe (88) McElligott from Listowel, Co Kerry. Photo: Dominick Walsh

Amy Molloy and Allison Bray

An elderly couple in Listowel, Co Kerry, had to be evacuated from their home as they were left up to their waists in water after heavy floods hit the country.

It is the third time the couple's home has been flooded in three years.

John-Joe McElligott (88) and his wife Maura (78) were forced to stay with their son Pat as their home was covered in water "within minutes" after the torrential downpour.

As the couple's home is prone to flooding, they can't get insurance and most of their belongings have been "completely destroyed".

"They have had an awful time over the last few years," Pat McElligott told the Irish Independent.

"They're living in fear as when it rains heavily, the water comes in so quick and it's very scary as I'm worried one day they won't be able to get out. My dad walks with a walking stick so I had to be very careful getting him into the car. All the family photographs are long gone and everything has been destroyed."

They claimed on their house insurance the first time their home was flooded but have been unable to get insurance since then. "They end up being out of pocket afterwards as they have to pay for all the damage with their own money.

"Something needs to be done to help them."

Kerry County Council says it is looking to provide a long-term solution to flooding in the area.

Meanwhile, Met Éireann has issued two Status Yellow weather warnings for today and tomorrow as snow, ice and freezing temperatures were forecast.

Scattered snow showers and ice warnings went into effect at 5am this morning until noon tomorrow. The warnings will mostly affect Ulster and Connacht, with counties Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Cavan and possibly western county Galway likely to wake up to snow on higher ground tomorrow, or to see flurries tonight, according to forecaster John Eagleton.

"There's a trough bringing a line of showers and if it goes into the evening we could get snow on the mountains," he said. A low temperature warning effective from 11pm last night until 11am today was also issued as temperatures were due to plummet overnight to -3C to -4C in some places. However, there's little danger of black ice forming due to lack of humidity, he said.

Irish Independent

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