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Treacherous weather delivers a double blow for marooned flood victim Bridie

MAROONED first by floods and now by the snow and ice.

That's the lot of Bridie Willers and her family in south Galway.

Yesterday she was inching her way along the treacherous roadway in Ardrahan to inspect the reconstruction of her family home, which was swamped by the unprecedented deluge of late November.

"We're on a side road and in this weather things are very difficult. There's a bit of a thaw during the afternoon, but then it ices over again and after all we've been through over the last few weeks, it's the last thing we need," she said.

But Bridie, along with her husband Denis and sons Cathal and Shane, remains upbeat and believes that 2010 can only be better for the family.

A Fine Gael member of Galway County Council, Bridie and her family had to flee their home in late November when the rising flood waters made it impossible for them to stay.

Her brother and 91-year-old mother who live next door were also forced from their home by the floods.

"Christmas is best forgotten about and I was certainly glad to see the back of it when January 6 came around.

"At the moment we have ice in the pipes where the water would normally run and the roads are treacherous for most of the time.

"Today is one of the better days, with a little bit of a thaw, but the forecast is for more bitterly cold weather and we could all do without that."

Since she had to evacuate her own home, Bridie and her family have been living in a house just 500 yards away, generously provided by neighbours Oliver and Veronica Geoghegan. Each day she makes the icy trip back to her own two-storey house to oversee the reconstruction work.

"We've put in a concrete floor with steel studs to replace our wooden floors and we're studding and re-insulating the walls. It's all being done in the hope that the same thing won't happen again.

"But we're all alright and that's the main thing. We're coping and we'll get on with it," she said.

Irish Independent