Friday 17 January 2020

'We are horrified it has happened again' - Family anger after major pipe bursts and floods home for second time

The scene of the burst water mains at Proudstown Road, Navan, Co. Meath this morning. Joan Murtagh pictured with her grandaughters, Vicki Woodgate (lt) and Niamh Donnolly, at her flooded out home.
PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
The scene of the burst water mains at Proudstown Road, Navan, Co. Meath this morning. Joan Murtagh pictured with her grandaughters, Vicki Woodgate (lt) and Niamh Donnolly, at her flooded out home. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
The scene of the burst water mains at Proudstown Road, Navan, Co. Meath this morning. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
The scene of the burst water mains at Proudstown Road, Navan, Co. Meath this morning. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Irish Water workers pictured moving the the new section of water main into place at Navan today.
Irish Water workers pictured preparing the new section of water main at Navan today.
Irish Water workers pictured moving the the new section of water main into place at Navan today.
An Irish Water worker pictured removing the broken water main at Navan today.
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A massive burst in a water main on the outskirts of Navan left the town without water and a family homeless for the second time in 18 months.

The burst on the Proudstown Road caused the road to collapse and flooded a house in the early hours of the morning.

The incident which comes just a week after 70,000 residents were affected by a separate shortage in nearby Drogheda.

Last night the water rose silently and the damage was only discovered when one of the occupants got up to use the bathroom and found the floor beneath their feet was under water.

By evening the burst main had been repaired and water was being restored to businesses and homes in the town.

"A temporary reinstatement of the road is taking place today currently and a permanent reinstatement in parallel to installing extra drainage and road gullies adjacent to the main to help eliminate further flooding of properties in the area," Irish Water said in a statement.

Jimmy (81) and Joan (71) Murtagh’s house was last flooded in December 2015.

“The same pipe burst that time and left us under three feet of water. The whole house had to be gutted and we were out of it for nine months,” Joan told Independent.ie from her daughter’s neighbouring home today.

The scene of the burst water mains at Proudstown Road, Navan, Co. Meath this morning. Declan Donnolly shows the height the water came up to at his mother's house.
PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
The scene of the burst water mains at Proudstown Road, Navan, Co. Meath this morning. Declan Donnolly shows the height the water came up to at his mother's house. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN

“We only got back in last September and now it has happened again,” she said with sadness.

“We had to be taken out a window by an ambulance crew in the darkness this morning. We were afraid to open the doors because the water was more than a foot high outside,” she added while being comforted by her close family.

Meanwhile Jimmy was outside watching in disbelief as two diggers excavated the road to expose the concrete asbestos main which had fractured spirally from collar to collar.

“The last time this happened Irish Water said they could not take responsibility for the damage because it was a case of wear and tear, so we had to use our insurance to pay for the repairs,” said Joan.

“We cannot get insurance again. Somebody from Irish Water said they would cover the costs this time,” she added.

Her son in law Declan Donnelly said they want to see that in print for reassurance.

The road where the pipe burst
The road where the pipe burst

“The last time it happened my house, which is next to Jimmy and Joan’s did not flood, but the water got under it and the house started to crack and shift. We’re still trying to sort that out and now this has happened again,” said Declan.

Joan said that the water main was laid around 30 years ago, but at that time the pipework was not under the road surface.

“The council then took a bend out of the road years later and the road was widened, and it is now above the pipe,” said Joan.

“My husband thinks the trucks and traffic are now putting pressure on the pipe and that is why it is bursting,” she added.

“We were so upset when the pipe burst and we were flooded the first time. Then we were delighted to get back into the house last September after it was repaired. Now we are horrified that it has happened again so quickly,” Joan explained.

People are furious that their homes have flooded again
People are furious that their homes have flooded again

Apart from the damage to the houses, the Murtagh’s and Donnelly’s have also had three of their cars flooded since the burst early this morning.

According to the AA Proudstown Road in Navan is closed at the race course and local diversions are in place.

In a statement Irish Water said:

"Irish Water crews are on site of a major pipe burst in Navan this morning. The trunk main that feeds the town has burst leaving the majority of the town without water. The R162 Navan/Kingscourt Road at the bottom of Proudstown Hill is closed while crews work on the pipe.

"Updates will follow as the repair progresses. Irish Water apologises for the inconvenience and would like to assure customers that we are progressing the repair as quickly as possible."

News of this latest incident comes just a week after people in the North East were left without water for almost a week.

The water shortage was sparked after a 50-year-old main burst in Donore, Co Meath.

Up to 70,000 people were affected by the previous incident.

Meanwhile Limerick city last night attended a burst water main on Corbally Road, Co Clare

The road remained open as emergency workers dealt with the issue.

Local councillor Cathal Crowe (FF) said he arrived at the scene of the burst water mains at around 11pm.

"Water was gushing onto the road at a rapid pace and the fire brigade were using heavy duty pumps to divert it back into nearby drains.

"An emergency crew from Clare Co. Council and Irish Water shut off supply but a lot of work will be required today to put things right.

"This is one of the most populated parts of Co. Clare and I anticipate that the outage will effect upwards of 8,000 people.

"Whilst I appreciate the efforts of Clare Co. Council and Irish Water employees the overall quality of the water mains pipe in the area has to be questioned. In the last 12 months the mains has ruptured on 10 occasions."

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