Dundrum flooding response criticised

 

Store owners at Dundrum Shopping Centre have criticised the response of management to the widespread flooding in the mall last night.

The centre was evacuated shortly before 8pm when the nearby river Slang burst its banks and created a surge of water that flowed into the mall through doors beside the Butler’s chocolate shop located in the middle of the ground floor.

The water then spread throughout the ground floor and affected most of the stores.

A spokeswoman for Dundrum Shopping Centre said a couple of hundred people including staff were in the centre at the time. She said the mall was evacuated in 20 minutes and power was cut.

Terry McVeigh, owner of Cortina’s Mexican restaurant, said his basement was flooded by up to 5 feet as water came down the steps from the main centre and hit his store.

Mr McVeigh, whose restaurant is in the lower Pembroke District of Dundrum Town Centre said he faces a bill of up to €20,000 worth of damage due to lost revenue and ruined stock as a result of the flood.

He said: “Everyone knew about the storm damage so why didn’t they have pump guys on standby to be ready for it for the drainage.

“The drainage is right out here [outside his restaurant], all they had to do was have a guy to pump that right out and we would have been fine…but they never did, so that’s not good.”

Mr McVeigh also said he had to source his own sandbags and the first visit he had from management was when a security guard passed at midnight.

“I understand they are not used to this but they have to look after everybody not just Marks & Spencers and Tesco,” he added.

However, Dundrum Town Centre’s Janet Jordan denied his claim saying management had tried to contact all the tenants by phone but this was done remotely as the phone lines were down and Mr McVeigh was contact as soon as possible.

She said while water did flow into the Pembroke District the river bursting its banks was “unprecedented” and that no-one could have known the damage that was to occur.

And she added management had an emergency team on hand to deal with the situation.

Management at Marks & Spencer’s said a lot of their stock is going to go to waste.

The shop, situated over two floors of the ground and basement level of the centre, suffered quite a lot of water damage especially to its foodhall, homeware, mensware and kidsware departments.

Shane Maguire, co-owner of Ruairi Maguire’s Bar & Organic Kitchen said he will also have to shut up shop as his basement is covered in water and without power.

Ms Jordan said the centre is currently working with the ESB to restore power on a store by store basis and that it is too early to tell if all stores will open tomorrow.

Tesco, which has its own generator, and shops in the Dundrum South area are open for business today as they were largely unaffected by the flood.