Flash flooding has damaged homes and businesses in Donegal and across the North West.
Dozens of people had to be rescued from their homes by emergency services across the county, as well as in Tyrone and Derry.
A third of August’s average monthly rainfall fell in a single hour
in parts of the north on Saturday evening.
In Northern Ireland, Castlederg monitoring station in West Tyrone recorded rainfall of 30mm an hour between 7pm and 8pm, the Met Office said, as homeowners continued to clean up after widespread flooding and destruction.
The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) made 106 emergency calls between just after 7pm on Saturday and 1.30am yesterday morning, with firefighters responding to 49 incidents, including the rescue of one person from a vehicle and five people trapped in flooded properties were.
No further flood action had been reported as of last night, although yellow weather persisted and rain continued to soak parts of the region.
Teams from the Ministry of Infrastructure responded to nearly 300 calls and provided assistance to affected residents and businesses throughout the night. It is estimated that more than 8,000 sandbags were used
Overall, the rain gauge at Castlederg recorded 44.4mm of rainfall in the 24 hours commencing 10pm on Friday. That’s half the monthly average. Another 10mm was recorded at the same station until early yesterday evening.
Donegal County Council’s service director said most of the flooding had occurred in the East Inishowen area, near Moville and Greencastle.
Gary Martin said the flooding was “very intense” for the affected areas, which included residential properties and damage to infrastructure.
“It’s a testament to the emergency services in both Donegal and Northern Ireland that they were able to respond to the event so quickly when it happened,” he said.
Mr Martin said the “vast majority” of the premises at Inishowen had been defended and no “significant damage” had occurred.
“Initially we had four units deployed from Donegal Fire Brigade, they responded with pumps and sandbags to defend properties,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
“Our community road services have also responded, there were quite a number of roads in the area that became impassable fairly quickly.
“Our top priority is saving lives and making sure no one gets hurt. So we set up detours very, very quickly, but fortunately no one was injured and we managed to manage the traffic for the duration of the incident.”
Derry City SDLP Councilor Martin Reilly said this is not the first time properties in these areas have been badly flooded.
“Our parish stretches from Derry to Strabane and we’ve had a lot of flooding in Strabane, Eglinton and then the city of Derry itself. People who have been affected have pulled together and worked together with a great sense of community to help their neighbours help,” he said.
“This has required sandbags to be brought to affected properties to try and provide some level of protection to households who have not faced flooding for the first time in recent years. Unfortunately, many houses were flooded several times.”
Councilor Reilly said the flooding was causing “mental trauma” for homeowners, as well as damage to the property itself.
“Every household that I’ve spoken to that has been flooded has had a history of flooding, so unfortunately these people often don’t have the option to get home insurance and have to pay for the cost of the damage themselves,” he said.
“I think the people who were inundated in the first major catastrophic floods in 2017 are now, five years later, looking to pick up the pieces for their family homes.
“The sandbags were distributed by local people who came to the depot themselves, it was local activists who made the impact. Residents are rightly fed up with having to constantly repair their homes, often at their own expense.”
Castlederg Councilor Steven Edwards said: “I have visited and spoken to a number of homeowners and businesses across Derg who have been affected by the flooding.
“Apocalyptic amounts of rain and surface water for many. My heart goes out to them all.”
Whilst the west, mainly in the Derry and Strabane District Council area, was the wettest, well above average rainfall was also recorded on the north coast, with Giant’s Causeway station registering 24.2mm.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/apocalyptic-rain-leaves-dozens-trapped-at-home-41864326.html Flash floods and ‘apocalyptic’ rain in Donegal, Derry and Tyrone leave dozens confined at home