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Sunday 22 September 2019

'Everything is destroyed' - Elderly couple evacuated from home after severe flooding

John-Joe McElligott (88) and his wife Maura (78)
John-Joe McElligott (88) and his wife Maura (78)
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

An elderly couple in 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 yesterday.

It was the third time the couple's Listowel home had been seriously 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".

The house was severely flooded in 2014 also
The house was severely flooded in 2014 also

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

"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.

"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," Mr McElligott said.

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

Elsewhere, several roads were impassable nationwide this morning, and the town of Mountmellick, Co Laois is cut off from the surrounding roads following severe flooding.

Families woke up in hotels after they were evacuated from homes in two housing estates outside Mountmellick.

The evacuation being undertaken as a precautionary measure amid fears of the homeowners being cut-off from vital services by the flood waters after after gullies around the River Owenass flooded following the torrential rainfall.

According to Laois County Council 35 homes were evacuated last night.

Met Éireann are now forecasting "widespread heavy and local thundery showers for a time, some turning wintry."

The rain comes ahead of a "very cold night", with frost setting in soon after dark this evening and becoming more severe as the night progresses.

Commuters and motorists are being warned ahead of icy roads on Friday morning.

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