‘We’ve never had a problem with flooding before’

ALTHOUGH Isobel Butler knew the River Poddle ran underground near her home in Harold’s Cross, she never realised how close it was to her property.

The psychologist spent yesterday coming to terms with the damage caused to her semi-detached house on Greenmount Avenue after the river overflowed on Monday.

“We first saw the water coming up through the floor and then it burst in through the front door.”

She noticed rising waters coming through the back wall of her garden at about 10pm on Monday.

With the help of her two children, Caoimhe and Cian, she managed to remove some furniture, books, electrical goods, and the dog upstairs out of harm’s way.

However, her black three-seater sofa fell victim to the deluge as it was too big to carry away in time.

A waterline that ran through the ground floor showed the flood was almost 30cm deep.

However, Isobel remained relatively upbeat given that the Poddle waters had risen considerably higher outside her home.

“I’ve lived in Harold’s Cross for the past 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like this. We’ve been here seven years and we’ve never had a problem with flooding before now.”

They abandoned their home at 1.30am to stay with relatives as the water levels began to rise above electricity sockets and the gas fire.

“At that stage, it just felt dangerous to remain in the house.”

Without electricity and the need to replace floorboards and possibly some kitchen equipment, Isobel said she expected it would take another few days before she and her children would be able to return.

Another resident on the same road blamed the flooding on the failure of Dublin City Council to provide deep enough channels for the Poddle to flow underground without reaching the surface during high water levels.

“It’s a relatively easy problem to fix. I’ve lived in the Netherlands and they manage to avoid flooding despite living below sea level,” he said.

One elderly homeowner said he recalled similar bad flooding “some 60 years ago but nothing like this since”.

Across the road, residents of the modern Boyne Court apartments were also surveying the devastation as the complex remained under several feet of water.

Dublin Fire Brigade yesterday helped to rescue about 12 residents by ladder after they were trapped in their homes overnight.

Some residents, who had chosen to stay in the building, looked out on the scene from their windows on the second and third floor apartments as council officials brought in pumps to drain the area.

One female resident who arrived back after staying elsewhere on Monday night observed the scene in shock. “It’s just crazy. People can’t get either in or out of the place,” she said.

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