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Sunday 15 September 2019

Hurricane Kate brings chaos to the West as towns hit by floods

Flooding in Crossmolina, Co Mayo, after the Deel river burst its banks
Flooding in Crossmolina, Co Mayo, after the Deel river burst its banks
Cars underewater at Ballybofey, Co Donegal, after the river Finn flooded

Greg Harkin

The remnants of Hurricane Kate brought chaos to western counties as homeowners, businesses and farmers faced a flooding nightmare.

Up to 80mm of rain fell in parts of Donegal and Mayo, as council and fire crews were forced to evacuate homes. In Donegal, a bridge in Castlefinn disappeared under flood waters as the communities along the River Finn took the full brunt of the weather.

A dozen guests at a hotel in Ballybofey woke up to find their cars destroyed in the flood waters. And in Donegal town, residents of five homes had to be taken by boat from their homes.

The main road out of Letterkenny to Glenties had to be closed off by gardaí as the Swilly River burst its banks, unable to cope with 48 hours of non-stop rain.

"Crews were out overnight from Letterkenny, Stranorlar, Ballyshannon, Bundoran and Donegal Town," said Donegal chief fire officer Joe McTaggart yesterday.

"The flood waters in these areas were particularly bad due to the sheer volume of rain over practically two days."

In Crossmolina, Co Mayo, the River Deel burst its banks, sending flood waters into businesses in the town.

"The water came into the town around 6.30am," said Londis deli manager Tony Murphy.

"This is the third time this has happened since 1989," he added.

Irish Independent

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