West Cork flooding forces elderly residents to leave their homes

West Cork flooding forces elderly residents to leave their homes
After a night of torrential rain, the River Roury broke its banks at 4am causing serious flooding in Roscarberry, West Cork causing part of the N71 to close. The Landmark Restaurant and a number of houses and B&B's were badly flooded. Picture: Andy Gibson

Heavy rain has forced a number of West Cork residents from their homes, including some elderly people who had been self-isolating to avoid contracting Covid-19.

Several roads were left impassable today, including the N71 at Rosscarbery and Connonagh and the R597 between Rosscarbery and Glandore, after thunderstorms brought heavy rain to the area between 2.30am and 4.30am.

A number of residents of Star Gardens, Rosscarbery, which provides long-term accommodation for older people, were forced to vacate due to the flooding.

Independent councillor Paul Hayes says the area has been hit hard.

The Landmark Restaurant and a number of houses and B&B's were badly flooded after last night's torrential rain. Picture: Andy Gibson
The Landmark Restaurant and a number of houses and B&B's were badly flooded after last night's torrential rain. Picture: Andy Gibson

“In Rosscarbery a number of properties have been flooded. Star Gardens, only opened recently, a number of those apartments were flooded,” said Cllr Hayes.

“They are lovely apartments with easy access and stairlifts. 

"A number on the ground level have been flooded. We are double-checking at the moment to see if residents need to be moved out. If we need to try and find some kind of alternative accommodation for them.” 

Cllr Hayes said a number of the people affected had been self-isolating up to this point, with Covid-19 fears an added worry to the residents.

Local residents in Roscarbery attempt to remove some of the flood water. Picture: Andy Gibson
Local residents in Roscarbery attempt to remove some of the flood water. Picture: Andy Gibson

“They’ve been cocooning and trying to mind themselves as best they could. So yeah, this is a big blow for the likes of them. We are moving to try and accommodate them as best we can. 

"It’s just a fantastic community out there, so I think everyone's kind of rallying around to try and do this properly and look after the most vulnerable."

Between the damage to private property and the damage done to the roads, the cost of repairs could run into the millions.

Severe flooding in Rosscarbery left the main N71 road closed and side roads severely damaged with surfaces washed away. Credit: Andrew Harris.
Severe flooding in Rosscarbery left the main N71 road closed and side roads severely damaged with surfaces washed away. Credit: Andrew Harris.

“Anything to do with road resurfacing, it doesn’t come cheap. We are looking at hundreds of thousands, if not millions.” 

Senator Tim Lombard said the rain the area saw was a “once in a hundred years kind of thing.” 

“The thunder that we saw last night, I don't think I've seen the likes of it in my entire life. I just think that there's going to be serious damage done. 

"We will need serious money to repair, not alone private property but also public property, which is going to be damaged by the amount of water that was falling," he told C103's Cork Today Show.

A number of vehicles were left stranded by the flooding. Picture: Andy Gibson
A number of vehicles were left stranded by the flooding. Picture: Andy Gibson

“The rain that fell at 4am, I'm 43 years of age and I never saw the like of it. It was beyond belief. It was just literally like a tap was just turned on. 

"A once in 100 years kind of thing.” 

It is understood that a number of properties, including a B&B and a pub have been damaged. 

Senator Lombard says the question of where funding for repairs is going to come now needs to be asked.

“When you have water, on that level, flowing up that high, you're gonna have major damage. 

"Do we need to go and talk to local governments and national governments or what funding streams are available? In the last 12 hours, there has been millions of Euros worth of damage done to West Cork,” Senator Lombard finished.

Heavy local storms with torrential rain caused severe flooding in Rosscarbery, with the main N71 road closed and side roads severely damaged with surfaces washed away. Credit: Andrew Harris.
Heavy local storms with torrential rain caused severe flooding in Rosscarbery, with the main N71 road closed and side roads severely damaged with surfaces washed away. Credit: Andrew Harris.

Cork County Council’s Roads Department and Fire Service staff were working hard from the early hours of the morning to try to alleviate the flooding. Staff have also been delivering sandbags to affected properties.

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