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Friday, December 15, 2006

Floods hit county Limerick after huge rainfall

After twice the average rainfall for December has already hit our region so far this month, families and elderly in Clonlara have been forced to leave their homes due to extensive flooding in the area.

Flood hit residents are now blaming the ESB for opening floodgates at Parteen weir ,causing the floods.

From todays Leader,
Local residents have been trapped in their homes because of the flooding but the ESB insists it is not to blame. Mike Mason of Springfield, Clonlara said that residents had been left in an appalling situation. "My mother is completely housebound. Septic tanks are not working, we've no means of transport other than a four wheel drive tractor. I've been speaking to the ESB and they've said they're going to do nothing about it. They held back the water too long, up to two weeks ago the level of the river was low even though we've had rain for the last five weeks." He said a local family had deserted their home and called for the ESB to take belated action. "We want them to close the gates, they can't keep flooding us forever." He said that about 15 houses were affected and a large area of farmland was flooded. Another local resident Mike Hogan said that septic tanks had been affected and sewage was flowing through the area. His four children have been off school all this week, while he has to wear waders to make his way as far as the main road, where he gets a lift to work. An ESB spokesman said that if the gates had remained closed the situation could have been even worse. "If the gates hadn't been opened it could have caused a lot more damage. It's not something we do lightly." Clare County Councillor Cathal Crowe was critical of the ESB. "It seems that they have released too large a volume and some residents have been confined to their homes. They could have given some
forewarning to the people. Needless to say some very good agricultural land has been damaged," he said. Cllr Crowe said that he had knew of a home in the Clonlara area which had fish in the backyard. He said he had tried to drive around the area in a car but couldn't, and it had since become totally impassable even to jeeps. "I'm calling on the ESB to provide transport to residents in the effected areas. Residents have told me that they can't get through the floods.
A woman in her 70’s had to be evacuated from her house in the town last night when floodwaters reached the front door of her home.

It’s not just Clonlara however, Newcastle West, Rathkeale and Mungret have also seen flooding

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