‘We got no warning at all from anyone,’ flood-hit Midleton local says

Cork residents and businesses prepare for further flooding as heavy rain forecast


Traders in Midleton in East Cork were this morning breathing a sigh of relief after the most recent flood alert passed off without a problem but they are bracing themselves for further potentially more flooding amid warnings from Cork County Council that the bad weather is set to continue.

Sinead Moriarty, who owns Euro Man menswear on Main Street, came into her shop on Wednesday morning to discover it was under 2-3ft of water with thousands of euros worth of damage caused to stock and to shop fittings.

The shop was just one of around 40 businesses damaged at the eastern end of Main Street and Broderick Street, and Distillery Lane when a high tide and heavy rains from Storm Frank caused the Owenacurra to burst its banks and flood part of the town centre as well as a several housing estates.

“We got no warning at all from anyone - Midleton was completely off the radar as regards warnings from Cork County Council or anyone else - high tide was at 7.41am and when we got in here at 8.15am, the damage was already done with over two feet of water in the shop,” she said.

According to Ms Moriarty, who has been in business at Euro Man for 16 years, this was the first time that locals can remember flooding coming so far up Main Street in 67 years and it’s going to have serious consequences for businesses in the town.

“Some of the businesses down the street have been flooded before and they don’t have insurance but I was never flooded before in 16 years and I have insurance but it’s very concerning that Main Street in Midleton is now going to be written down as a flood risk as a result of this flood.”

Ms Moriarty said that Cork County Council had issued a flood warning for the town for Friday night and although the Owencurra had burst its banks again at high tide and flooded a park area, it did not come up on the Main Street and Broderick Street as it did on Wednesday morning.

“We got two messages from Cork County Council - one that there was a risk of flooding on Friday night - thankfully that didn’t happen but the other one was to tell us that the weather forecast for the next four to six weeks is horrendous .

“That - plus the fact that my assessor said it will take three to four weeks for the building to dry out - is why I’m not even thinking of putting down new flooring again - it’s a question of holding tough until all this bad weather passes,” she said.

Ms Moriarty said the clean-up operation is continuing and she is hoping to meet her insurance provider on Monday with a view to assessing the full extent of the damage and hopefully re-opening next Thursday or Friday, all going well.

“We got the last dehumidifier from one of the tool hire firms on Wednesday afternoon and we must have rung around 20 places since then trying to get another but not surprisingly everyone is looking for them to try and dry out their places.

“We had loads of family helping out on Wednesday and we finally finished the baling out at around 10pm but it’s very traumatic - when they started pulling up the carpet the other day, I have to say, that’s when the tears started flowing.

“You work so hard over the last 16 years and particularly over the last seven or eight years since the recession hit and things were starting to look up this year and then for this to happen. It’s just devastating.”