Saturday 18 November 2017

'I haven't been able to go to work for a month'

Flooding as far as the eye can see in Clonlara, Co Clare. Photo: Brian Gavin Press 22
Flooding as far as the eye can see in Clonlara, Co Clare. Photo: Brian Gavin Press 22
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

The news bulletins were far more optimistic than they had been over recent days, with a suggestion the worst was over.

But in Clonlara, Co Clare, he water rise even further overnight around many homes.

Yet more endless rain and sleet greeted those living in Limerick and Clare yesterday morning. The Shannon rose more than 5cm, with locals now flooded for a fifth week in a row and exhaustion setting in.

Mother Clare Downes said she was sick of the flooding and wanted to see drastic action taken to prevent future floods.

The family have to use a bucket or travel to a nearby garage just to use the bathroom. Their water supply has been unusable for a month.

She said much of the water in the area was filled with raw sewage and the contents of a nearby slurry pit were sloshing around too. "It is not safe to be around," said Ms Downes.

Heating is also an issue and their central heating has been broken since December 12.

"We are lucky because we got a stove put in only in October," she said. "Only for that we would be out of the house."

Their property has been inundated with water since the Shannon burst its banks and has ruined their conservatory and their garage.

"Our floor boards in the conservatory are destroyed," she said. "They warped and we could not even open the door to get in there. It is a nightmare really," she added.

"We had to lift one of the floor boards to release the pressure but they will all have to be dumped now along with the skirting boards.

"My garage is ruined too and the smell is unbelievable."

Water rose by more than 30cm inside the garage and mould has ruined everything in there.

Ms Downes said trying to cope with the situation had been difficult for the family.

"I haven't been able to go to work for nearly a month because someone has to be here all day to make sure water does not get in," she said.

"We have been really lucky that the Army have been here to help us and our neighbours have been fantastic too," she added.

"It is not good enough though ,and something has to be done about it now.

"In 2009 our son was just a year old, so I had to move out and stay in alternative accommodation then," she said.

"It is worse now so they will have to deal with it properly."

Ms Downes said that were lucky to be able to stay in their home for Christmas but said that it was a challenge to keep her seven-year-old son occupied.

"He is essentially housebound so you have to try and keep things light for him," she said.

"At least he is back in school now but even then, we have to get the Army to bring him in," she added.

Clare County Council confirmed water levels on the lower River Shannon rose 5cm - leaving it just less than 12cm below the November 2009 peak.

Irish Independent

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