Friday 20 April 2018

Storm Desmond flood damage expected to run to millions of euro

Bandon: flooded twice in six years
Bandon: flooded twice in six years
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

The repair bill for Storm Desmond is set to run to millions of euro.

Mayo, Donegal and Cork bore the brunt of the damage, with the west Cork town of Bandon suffering its second disastrous flood in six years.

Bandon trader Margaret Daly fought back tears as she surveyed the destruction of her life's work.

The premises that doubles up both as her home and her barber's shop was left under almost 18 inches of flood water.

Just down the road, it was a similar story for draper Frank O'Leary, who suffered €400,000 worth of flood damage in 2009 and now faces another flood damage bill.

The problem this time is that he doesn't have flood insurance.

Both traders admitted that they are fearful as to what 2016 holds in store for them.

Margaret and Frank are also furious that six years after the disastrous 2009 floods, nothing has been done to protect the vulnerable west Cork town.

"It is heartbreaking, just heartbreaking," Margaret said as she wiped away tears.

"This is my house, my home, my business and I suppose a big part of my life.

"It is just devastating to see this again after 2009. I have been listening to promises about flood-protection measures and they have all been broken.

"Everyone is blaming everyone else. But something should have been done after the 2009 floods to prevent this from ever happening again. What happened on Saturday night was totally avoidable," she said.

"I'm really, really angry over this - I have no flood insurance. I just don't know what I am going to do."

Frank O'Leary's family drapery business is one of the oldest in west Cork.

"My floor is totally gone and a lot of the fixtures and fittings in the shop will be gone. We're 95 years in business. What do we do now?" he asked.

"The last time we suffered over €400,000 in damage. I don't now what we are looking at this time but we don't have insurance now.

"What makes me particularly angry is that this situation was totally avoidable."

Irish Independent

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