05 August 2023

Disbelief as Dublin homes hit by flooding after heavy rainfall

05 August 2023

Homeowners expressed disbelief after more than a dozen homes in north Dublin were hit by flash flooding on Saturday.

Eight people were evacuated from their homes using inflatable rescue sleds and one person was taken to hospital, Dublin Fire Brigade said, after several 999 calls were received on Saturday.

An underground car park at a block of flats on the same road as the houses was also flooded, where about 15 cars were thought to be parked underneath.

Water appeared to still be up to the ceiling of the basement later on Saturday, as Dublin Fire Brigade and Dublin City Council continued to pump the water out.

People were seen assessing the damage to their homes and airing cars that had been parked in driveways, as relatives arrived to offer support.

Forecaster Met Eireann had issued several warnings that heavy rain and strong winds would hit the country as Storm Antoni moved eastwards across Ireland.

But people at the Castle Court Estate questioned whether drainage had an impact on the severity of the flooding, described as a “deluge” by one homeowner, who did not want to be named.

“It was like a tsunami, it just came in (at 9 o’clock), we’d no time to protect ourselves. (We) looked out the window, it was up to your ankle, next thing you know it was up to your knee,” she told the PA news agency.

“We tried to save a few things, like photographs. But we couldn’t save most of the stuff.”

She said that there had been a similar flood more than 10 years ago, but it was not as bad as what hit on Saturday.

“This was terrible.

“This literally exploded. The last time it happened, I think something up near the train station or past the golf club, there was supposed to be flood doors, and they didn’t open them.

“I don’t know whether they opened them this time or not. Somewhere back along the line they haven’t done what they’re supposed to do.”

A man whose elderly relative owns one of the houses, and who did not want to be named, said it took about an hour to drain the water from the homes.

When he did get inside to assess the damage said: “The freezer was on its back and it was full of water. The washing machine was half full of water. Carpets are all soaked.”

A mark on the kitchen wall indicates the water reached about three feet high at one stage.

“Within a half an hour, I heard,” he said.

“I reckon that the cooker, anything that’s knee high, anything that’s electrical (is damaged),” he said.

“She has a lot of videos, a video player in the front room. I’d say they’re all gone.”

When asked whether he knew who would pay for the damage, he said: “No idea.”

Residents praised the “brilliant” firefighters and the council workers who responded to the incident.

In a statement, Dublin Fire Brigade said: “Operations are ongoing at the incident and firefighters from North Strand and Phibsborough fire stations are working with Dublin City Council crews alongside ESB network technicians.

“An apartment block basement remains flooded following the heavy rain overnight.”

Other parts of Dublin were also hit by spot flooding overnight, including near the RDS and Ballyfermot.

Dart rail services between Killester and Clontarf Road were also suspended for several hours due to flooding.

There were also several power cuts across the country, with homes and businesses in Carrigaline and Crosshaven in Co Cork left without power on Saturday.

Cork music festival Indiependence issued an update to their Instagram at 7am advising campers to stay in their tents if possible to ensure they are secure amid high winds. Waterford music festival All Together Now issued similar advice.

Met Eireann had issued a status yellow rain warning for counties Cavan, Monaghan, Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Meath, Westmeath and Wicklow that was in place overnight until 11am on Saturday.

A wind warning was also in place for several counties, including Dublin, with a risk of falling branches and difficult travelling conditions.

A status yellow wind warning had been in place for nine counties, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and all Munster counties, until 1pm on Saturday, with a risk of gusts reaching up to 110km per hour.

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