Mopping up after city's deluge will cost millions
Houses, hospital, roads and rail line swamped
MILLIONS of euro worth of damage was caused yesterday after Dublin was swamped by a record two weeks' worth of rain in one hour.
Residents were evacuated from their homes, patients in one of the capital's busiest hospitals had to be moved to other wards, a roof collapsed on a house in Monkstown, rail services were disrupted and roads were blocked as the city was swamped.
As a huge mopping up operation began, insurers were beginning to receive their first claims for flood damage.
A spokesman for the Irish Insurance Federation said it would take a few weeks before an accurate picture would emerge of the latest damage.
Last August, when flooding swamped most of the country, the industry was hit with €96m in claims.
Dublin City Council said the flooding across the city was caused by exceptional rainfall "which was the most intense the region has experienced since August 2008".
The city's new Lord Mayor Councillor Emer Costello sympathised with those affected by the overnight flooding and praised the emergency services.
"This is the second time within the space of 12 months that Dublin experienced this type of flooding and it is clear that this is as a direct consequence of climate change," she said.
"I believe radical measures now need to be taken . . . to make more funding available to the relevant authorities to plan and mitigate for future occurences of this type of weather event."
As the deluge hit the city in the early hours of the morning, 25 patients at the Mater Hospital were moved to different wards after a partial roof collapse hit St Camillus' Ward -- on the top floor of an old building in the hospital complex.
The emergency department and two wards were also flood-hit, and the hospital appealed to the public not to attend the Mater until further notice.
Patients scheduled for elective surgery were advised to contact the hospital.
For residents of one North Dublin housing estate, it was a repeat nightmare as floodwaters swept through their homes for the second time in a year.
The rising waters destroyed furniture and fittings, and even flattened garden walls on Clanmoyle Road, Donnycarney.
A two-foot-tall "tide" mark could be clearly seen along buildings as council workmen pumped out water from up to a dozen homes.
Only last August, residents whose semi-detached homes sit over sub-basements, faced a similar disaster and had replaced flooring and furniture only to see them ruined once again by yesterday's deluge.
"The exact same thing happened last August," said Eoin Weadick, as he mopped up after the early morning flood.
"My granny had to leave this house because of the flooding last time and we have been trying to fix it ever since."
Beneath sodden wooden flooring in the sitting room, the basement was filled with water, while dividing walls in the back garden were reduced to heaps of rubble.
"My gran is heartbroken. This was the family home and we all grew up here," said Eoin.
Neighbour Marie Doyle thought she was dreaming when she came down her stairs in the early hours of the morning to see water swirling around the ground floor.
"I'm just devastated. We were only getting back on our feet from the last time. New floors were only put down last August after the last flood and a new kitchen as well," she said.
Another neighbour Tom Dargle told how they got a knock on their door shortly after 2.30am warning them about the floods.
"The water was flowing through like a river. The sheer volume took down the garden wall," he said.
Minister of State and Dublin North Central TD Sean Haughey called for major works to prevent further flooding after he met residents of Clanmoyle Road yesterday.
It is hoped that a €4m upgrade to the River Wad culvert will provide a solution. Residents along Sherrard Street in the north city also got a rude awakening as floodwaters poured into their flats.
Almost 20 people had to be evacuated and brought to the Civil Defence headquarters at Collins Barracks, where they stayed until the floodwaters subsided.
Civil Defence officer Joe Campbell told the Irish Independent, "We gave them tea and buns. They started returning to their homes around 9am.
"Some of them had been up to their knees in water."
One of those hit by the flooding, Janis Moylan, told how Dublin Fire Brigade personnel began "banging down doors" at around 4.30am telling people to evacuate the buildings.
"Everything is ruined -- my TV, DVD player and bed linen. I've been here for four-and-a-half years but I don't know what I'm going to do now. I'm up the wall at this stage," she said.
A Dublin Fire Brigade spokeswoman said it received 350 calls between 12am and 9am, most of which related to flooding.
"The majority of the calls were house and basement floods, sewerage contamination and roof collapses," a spokeswoman said. "It was an exceptionally busy night."
- Flash flooding also descended on Co Mayo last night after several hours of torrential rain -- with Castlebar and Westport hit by serious flooding.
A team of lady GAA footballers had a lucky escape near Newport, Co Mayo when a bale of hay fell from a passing truck and broke the window of their coach. Three of the passengers were taken to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar but their injuries were not serious.
A man was rescued after he was trapped in his house in the village of Glenisland, which was surrounded by a metre of water.