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Saturday 21 July 2018

Thousands without water and people stranded for hours as town hit by freak flood after water main bursts

A major break in the main public water supply scheme from Killarney to Tralee caused the damage which occurred in the Deerpark area of town
Photo: Liam Murphy
A major break in the main public water supply scheme from Killarney to Tralee caused the damage which occurred in the Deerpark area of town Photo: Liam Murphy

Ian Begley and John O'Mahony

After 10 days of drought, a burst water main sent flood waters pouring down the centre of Killarney.

Businesses and homes in the Co Kerry town were hit by a freak flood this afternoon, leaving up to 10,000 people without water. 

A burst water main on Park Road sent flood waters rushing onto the street and stranded some 200 residents for several hours. 

The flood, which blew a large crater in the road, ground traffic to a halt and flowed under the doors of shops and homes. 

The burst main is part of the water supply scheme from Killarney to Tralee and occurred in the Deerpark area of the town.

As a result, 10,000 people were left without water last night. 

Panicked homeowners battled desperately to keep the murky water from seeping under their doors. 

Gardaí were quickly on the scene to manage traffic but Killarney councillor Donal Grady, who lives in the area, said he was “very annoyed” that the fire service was not called out.

A major break in the main public water supply scheme from Killarney to Tralee caused the damage which occurred in the Deerpark area
A major break in the main public water supply scheme from Killarney to Tralee caused the damage which occurred in the Deerpark area

“This is not the first time that this happened. The pipe, which stretches for about 40 miles, burst about seven years ago. 

“People are now left without water, but that’s certainly not the biggest problem.

“There’s about 200 residents above the burst who cannot get by the flooded road – they’re stranded. If someone was in trouble and needed an ambulance there would be no way for emergency services to get them,” he said.

Cllr Grady said the only other way to access the homes is through an emergency narrow road, closed off by a gate. 

“It was extremely frustrating trying to get someone to open the gate, but thankfully it was several hours after making calls,” he added.

An Irish Water spokesperson said: “A water main from Sheheree to Coolcorcoran has burst in the centre of Killarney, Park Road with a population equivalent of 10,000 out of water. Irish Water and Kerry County Council are making arrangements to carry out a repair as soon as possible and hope to have supply back by [tomorrow] morning.”

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