Josie Finucane, 97, who lives with her daughter Triona on the main street in the town, was brought by ambulance to St Ita’s hospital in Newcastle West.
About 20 homes and businesses were swamped in up to a metre of flood water after a wall near the main pier in Foynes was breached by the high tide shortly after 7am. Water gushed through buildings within minutes.
Mr Finucane said: “A mattress had to be used to get my mother out of the house into an ambulance. She was very upset. This is the home she has lived in since she got married over 70 years ago.
“There have been floods down the years, but this is the first time my mother has had to evacuate her home. It was the worst ever flood witnessed in Foynes. The emergency services personnel and the local community were brilliant.
“After a major flood in 2005, a wall was built between the harbour and the backs of the houses on the main street.
“However, this wall was breached by this flood and storm.
“I am a director of the Shannon Foynes Port Company and I will be demanding that serious remedial action is taken by the company, as the wall built after the 2005 flood is not satisfactory. People are now living in fear, after what has happened.”
Four pubs and Kelly’s supermarket were badly hit and a major clean-up was under way last night.
Pat Moran of the Yankee Clipper pub in Foynes said: “When we opened the front door there was two feet of water and inside in the kitchen and dining room there was three feet.”
Firefighters from the local station and staff from Limerick County Council spent most of the day at the scene.
Margaret O’Shaughnessy, manager of the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, said: “We have never seen anything like this before. The water was like a river flowing in from the harbour right through the back of the houses and businesses and out the front doors. Some houses on the church side of the street were also flooded.”
A number of houses in Askeaton were also flooded.
The N21 at Adare was blocked for a number of hours after the road near the entrance to Adare Manor was flooded.
In Limerick City, traffic was disrupted due to flooded roads at Corbally, Clancy Strand, and St Mary’s Park.