Our houses are like sitting ducks for flooding, say Corbally residents

Our houses are like sitting ducks for flooding, say Corbally residents
Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan morning is shown the back yard of Colm Walsh’s home on the Corbally road, Limerick

By David Raleigh

Residents living on the Corbally Road in Limerick said their houses are "sitting ducks" after floodwaters breeched a six foot embankment and overwhelmed their back gardens.

The River Shannon crept in from the rear of the houses at 5.45am this morning and stopped millimetres from resident's kitchen doors.

The river was lapping just beneath the kitchen door of Colm Walsh's home.

"In 2014 we were wiped out here with the floods when it came in the back door and the front door, and we had to move out of the house for six months," he explained.

"We had no insurance after that. The houses are worthless now," he said.

"When the house flooded out the last time it cost us around €35,000 to repair it," he added.

He said the council built up an embankment at the rear of the houses and laid sandbags on top of that covered with stones, but this was not enough to stop this morning's second-ever highest tide in Limerick.

"We saw the council's flashing lights and staff about 5.30am. Within 20 minutes the (floodwater) was right up and as far as the sandbags here about three foot from the back door."

Standing in his back garage next to his kitchen, he said: "Then, it came right in and seeped in through here and right up to the back door. If the sandbags weren't there, it would have come into the kitchen."

"I want something done. I want something done," he shouted in frustration.

"It's the stress that's the worst of it...This can't go on."

Looking out on the river that is his back garden, Mr Walsh shook his head: "All the swings and slides for the grandkids are destroyed."

The floodwater destroyed everything its wake as it swallowed up the embankment behind people's homes.

Anne Mercieca's car was completely submerged.

"We won't be compensated for that either," she sighed.

"I feel like we should just go into the River Shannon. We're just sitting ducks," she said.

Throwing her eyes upwards she said: "The council brought a pump out, but it didn't work, so they had to go get another one."

Like her neighbours', Ms Mercieca was also completely flooded out in 2014.

Looking at photographs from the flood two years ago, she said: "The water was just pouring into the house, everything was destroyed."

This morning, seven homes were flooded on the Mill Road, and Askeaton in the West of the County.

Limerick City and County Council said its outdoor staff and emergency crews are continuing to respond to homeowners in many parts.

In Limerick City, flooding also occurred at Longpavement, Condell Road; St Ita's Street in St Mary's Park; Corbally Road; O'Dywer's Villas, Thomondgate; Verdant Place; O'Callaghan Strand; Clancy Strand; Merchant's Quay and George's Quay.

Floodwaters had receded at most locations, however flooding remained an issue in Corbally; St Munchins Street; St Mary's Park.

The council said the flooding was the result of a larger than forecast storm surge, storm force westerly winds, and the second highest high tide (4.3m) on record in Limerick City.

The council also urged the public to exercise caution when driving on roads.

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