Friday, June 29, 2012

“It was like a scene from Armageddon” Cork, Ireland Floods

Yesterday 50 mm of rain fell in about 3 hours near Cork, Ireland.

The #corkfloods twitter feed is a good source for the latest information and the Irish Examiner has several stories of the resulting floods, such as this one with the headline “Everything is just destroyed again — for the fourth time”.

Cian Coleman had to help emergency services take his pregnant girlfriend Michelle McCarthy to safety: "I went downstairs and the dog was swimming around the kitchen. It was coming in through the door and I was trying to push the door in. Michelle has only two weeks to go, they took her out in a boat, which was floating in water above the front wall outside."

As [someone whose house had been destroyed] started to wade back through the drive to her front door, her daughter Fiona returned from a check on their neighbours.

"Look what someone’s after giving me," handing her mother a pink-covered photo album that was found in a nearby green area. It had clearly been among the items from their front room carried out the door in the early hours.

"They just came up and asked did I know who it might belong to. I opened it up and there was a picture of myself," said Fiona, laughing at the coincidence and irony of an otherwise disastrous morning.”

The Irish Examiner also has this eye witness account:

“The first inkling I had that something was wrong was sometime before 5am when I heard a car go through the estate — Meadowbrook in Glanmire — with the driver beeping and roaring out the window.

I was all set to give out to him until I looked out the window and saw what looked like a river running through the estate.

I rushed downstairs and tried to stop it coming through the door but at that stage, it was too late. It was a strong torrent of water and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

The power of it had to be seen to be believed. It flowed straight into the estate. It was covering the floor of our cars at that stage.

We all managed to get out, we got our dog Sophie out, and we were lucky enough to save our cars. Then all we could do was lock the door of the house and leave…

It was as high as five or six feet in some parts of the estate. The fire brigade rescued those who couldn’t get out of their homes, and helped others move upstairs.

By the time I got back to my house, it had been ruined. All the floors had come up, the furniture was destroyed, but we were no different to anybody else. Luckily, no one was injured or killed.

I managed to wade to other parts of the estate where the water was even higher. I knew there was an elderly man living nearby who slept on the ground floor of his house, so myself and two firemen managed to wake him up and move him upstairs in his house.

It was like a scene from Armageddon. The fire brigade had brought a RIB [Rigid Inflatable Boat] and punts to rescue people, water was nearly covering the cars. It was something else…

One woman on the estate had her goldfish bowl washed away but the goldfish were found swimming around the garden and rescued by hand, which was pretty amazing.

Ironically, I got a text message telling me of a flood warning in Bandon. I was standing up to my waist in water when I got the message, thinking ‘What about bloody Glanmire’s warning?’

It felt a little bit like the blitz in England during the war. Everyone pulled together. The community centre was offering teas and coffees to people and Liam Griffin from SuperValu sent across a load of grub.

It was a hairy few hours. It will take weeks to clean up. Looking around, what was a sea of water just a few hours ago is now a sea of mud.”

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