Saturday 24 February 2018

'All of the people around me had to move out'

Springfield resident John Killeen, hitching a boat ride to get to the local shop. Picture Credit: Gareth Williams / Press 22
Springfield resident John Killeen, hitching a boat ride to get to the local shop. Picture Credit: Gareth Williams / Press 22
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Despite the receding floodwater and drying conditions across the country, many people are still marooned in their homes.

The Springfield area in Clare, one of the worst-hit by the floods, was still under water yesterday.

Local farmer John Killeen said he was grateful that the ESB had reduced the flow of water through Parteen Weir.

"Hopefully by next week I will be able to get in and out in the tractor," he added.

"Trying to get in and out of the house is a nightmare."

Some county councils in the Shannon region are hoping to decommission flood defences later in the week with the river now 13cm below its peak.

The ESB decreased the discharge at Parteen Weir to 405 cubic metres per second yesterday.

"I was dependent on the Army and the Civil Defence to get me in and out," said Mr Killeen (above).

"All of the people leaving around me have had to move out. They have families and school so it is more complicated," he added.

"Hopefully next week it will be back to normal."

However, Mr Killeen is afraid that the road outside his house will be badly damaged because it has been under freezing water for more than a month.

"We raised the road by 15 inches during the summer so hopefully it won't be ruined," said Mr Killeen.

"When the old road was there you couldn't walk on it because of the potholes and everything. I only hope it will be all right."

Mr Killeen's neighbour, Mike Mason, believes regular maintenance of the Shannon would help to prevent flooding in the future.

He said that he used machinery at the weekend to repair a part of the river bank and it helped the floodwater to recede.

"The bank was moved somewhere along the line and it just eroded, so the Shannon was flowing in over it," said Mr Mason.

"I went down and built it back up and it reduced the water immediately by a few inches," he added.

"It has gone down again by another two or three inches since."

Mr Mason said he has done other work on the river in the past that has helped to relieve flooding. He believes the local authorities should follow his example.

"I used to own another premises during the 1990s on another part of the river. It flooded in 1995 and the water came in as high as the top of the door," he said.

"I cleaned out the river afterwards in front of the property and it hasn't flooded since."

Irish Independent

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