'The kitchen tumbled in around me' - victims share their stories of devastation after unprecedented flash flooding
- Woman watched entire kitchen thrown across room by landslide
- 'It's truly heartbreaking' - farmer powerless to prevent his lambs from drowning
- Man running from house with kids saw his wooden floor floating down the road
A flood victim has described how she was sitting in her home when she watched a mudslide smash through her walls, while a farmer has told of how he was powerless to prevent his lambs from drowning.
As the shock of this week's weather in the north-west of the country begins to set in, locals have told their horror stories.
More than 100 people had to be rescued from cars and houses due to sudden flash flooding in Donegal, Tyrone and Derry on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Across Inishowen alone, the scale of the disaster was described as unprecedented and catastrophic, with the Irish Government opening an emergency fund for immediate assistance and clean-up. The damage is expected to run up a repair bill in the multi-millions.
'I had visions of my whole house crumbling on top of me'
Bernie Kearney, from Urris, described how she was sitting in her bungalow having her dinner just after 8.30pm on Tuesday.
She heard a loud bang and watched as her entire kitchen was thrown across the room after her car was pushed through the side of her house by a landslide.
"I pulled back the curtains and the blinds and I opened the window and I just jumped," she said.
Ms Kearney said she didn't realise the car had come through the window.
"I just had visions of my whole house crumbling on top of me. It was the most frightening experience of my life. I don't think I'll ever get over it, but hopefully I'll be able to make a life and try to move forward," she added.
Bernie Kearney, a medical receptionist who lives in the northern county of Donegal, was dining alone in her kitchen on Tuesday evening when a landslide hit the hill beside her house.
Kearney said in a telephone interview that she heard a loud bang and "the kitchen tumbled in around me."
"I'll never forget it. It was terrible. The roar of it coming down the mountain. I didn't know what it was."
Kearney escaped by climbing out a window. She was not injured.
In the light of day, Kearney discovered that the landslide had thrown a boulder against her car, pushing it into her kitchen.
The damage was captured in Reuters pictures on Thursday that show her silver hatchback sitting high on a pile of mud and rubble, with its roof touching the eaves of her bungalow. The property has been condemned.
Kearney is staying with relatives while searching for alternate accommodation and dealing with her insurers. Local authorities have been attempting to clear rubble from the property.
'I was with my wife and children, looking for the lambs, and when I found the first one we were all devastated'
A Donegal farmer has described the moment when he was powerless to save his lambs from drowning in catastrophic flood waters as "truly heartbreaking".
Carndonagh local Paddy McLoughlin was called into action as soon as the first emergency calls started to come through.
Working for the council's road department, Mr McLoughlin helped to minimise the damage the flood waters caused.
However, in doing so, he had to leave his own farm and cattle unaided.
"I was trying to help other people with immediate flood relief as the rain was coming down hard," he explained.
"I was helping to shift a local's cattle in one of the fields and could see how the water was flowing up like a bath.
"It was very frightening and at the same time I knew I had to get back to my farm to save my lambs.
"By the time I did get back, the flooding had risen so quickly that I couldn't even get near the ground. It was unbelievable how fast it came up.
"I'm 43 and never remember anything like this happening before."
The true extent of the destruction visited by one of the worst natural disasters to hit the north-west is now starting to emerge.
In the space of a few hours, families were plunged into homelessness, with many livelihoods in ruin.
The stories of people's hardships are almost endless, but the account of Mr McLoughlin was particularly tragic. He said that 25 years ago his family spent a considerable amount of money building an embankment on their land, but it was completely wiped away.
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Although he was distraught for the safety of his livestock, he went back out and spent the night and following day helping his community.
Mr McLoughlin said that he was heartbroken once he found the first lamb.
"I was with my wife and children, looking for the lambs, and when I found the first one we were all devastated. I retrieved six of them so far, but can't find the others anywhere. It's a terrible thing that happened, but to be honest, it could be a lot worse," he said.
Just a few kilometres away a car dealership was completely decimated.
William Smyth, of Smyth's Garage, lost every one of his cars. "We had about 30 cars and they were all taken by the flood. We've retrieved some of them but they're beyond help.
"Me and my son were in Dublin during the night of the flood but my neighbours said it all happened so quickly," he said.
"The cars were all in front of the garage and the ones that weren't swept away were still covered in water.
"There's nothing I could have done. We buy second-hand cars and sell them and we also do work for the local hospital. Now I don't even want to think how much money we lost."
'As I carried my children from the house, our wooden floor was floating down the street'
Meanwhile, a homeowner says he fears that families affected by floods in Donegal will be forgotten within the coming weeks.
Liam Hegarty said he knew his family were in trouble when he saw the high waters in the village of Burnfoot as he returned from taking his wife to a driving lesson in Buncrana.
"Within minutes the place was under a huge amount of water. I carried the two smaller kids out but as I did so, the planks of wood from my wooden floor were floating out on to the street."
Mr Hegarty's oil tank was toppled over in his garden and his car was also destroyed in the floods. He met with Kevin 'Boxer' Moran and Shane Ross. But Mr Hegarty, who lives in the Lios Na Greine estate, said he feared that families like his would be forgotten.
"I am insured and I desperately hope I am covered but there are so many people around here who are not. Who is going to look after all those people? We were headline news and we were on TV when this happened but we're already becoming old news.
"I have been here all day cleaning up and nobody has called to me apart from yourselves."
The housing estate of Lios Na Greine was left devastated in the floods where almost every house was hit.
Just 100 yards away, Darren Donaghey's bungalow in Burnfoot was flooded by more than two feet of water on Tuesday evening while he was watching TV. Mr Donaghey says he has been left to fend for himself. Yesterday he went to the local social welfare office to seek emergency funding and was given €150 as a temporary payment.
"What good is €150 to me? I only have the clothes on my back. Everything I have made in the last few years I have put back into that house