Friday 15 December 2017

Couple marooned in lake escape on boat to make it to their daughter's wedding

The Cannon family home in Donegal became part of a local lake due to the flooding
The Cannon family home in Donegal became part of a local lake due to the flooding
Brian Cannon at his home with Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher

Greg Harkin

A retired post master has had to use his fishing boat to escape his home after flood waters left him marooned in the middle of a lake.

Brian Cannon and his wife Marie have lived for more than four decades alongside picturesque Lake Toome in Lettermacaward in the Donegal Gaeltacht.

But so much rain fell during Storm Desmond that they found their cottage in the middle of the newly expanded lake instead of alongside it.

That meant Brian's fishing boat, only ever used before for catching brown trout, became his emergency mode of transport.

It also meant the couple were able to escape the flood waters so they can travel to Dublin today for their daughter's wedding tomorrow.

Contractors building a new 5km stretch of the N56 yesterday dug a three-metre-wide crater to insert an emergency outflow pipe to allow water to escape from the lake.

"Hopefully we'll be able to walk back to the house in the next few days," said Brian.

"We had warned Donegal County Council that the road works could impact on drainage from the lake and unfortunately we were right.

"To be fair, they've now dealt with the blockage and the contractors have been very understanding, but it will be April before all the work is done and we won't sleep soundly until we know it's all fixed."

Family friend and former MEP Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher said contractors had done everything they could to rectify the problem so it didn't affect neighbours nearby.

"It's the worst weather in living memory around here and we've never had a flood like this here before. It was exceptional," he said.

"We will all be happy when the lake returns to normal. We wouldn't want to see this again."

Irish Independent

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