Flash floods inundate several Midleton outlets


BUSINESS OWNERS in Midleton, east Cork, are counting the cost of sudden torrential rainfall on Tuesday night which flooded up to a dozen premises in the town.

The premises, mainly at the southern end of Main Street, were flooded to a depth of several inches as water gathered on the street and a wash was created by passing vehicles before Midleton Town Council staff and gardaí were able to close off the roadway.

According to Midleton town clerk Joe McCarthy, the flooding stemmed from a combination of heavy rains and a high tide in the Owencurra river.

This resulted in river levels rising above the exit levels of drains, which led to water backing up on to the street.

There was also a problem in the southern end of the town, he said, where – although most of the storm water and foul water drains are separated – there remains a small section of combined piping which resulted in foul water waste washing back up through drains.

Among the shopkeepers and businesspeople affected by the deluge between 6.30pm and 9pm on Tuesday night was Aisling O’Connor of A O’Connor Opticians, where water flooded the ground floor to a depth of more than six inches.

“We’re just devastated. We only did up the premises seven weeks ago, putting in a new reception desk and that’s all been destroyed. We’re waiting for the timbers to dry out but we’re expecting that they’re all going to warp,” Ms O’Connor said.

“We also lost stock which we had in the lower drawer units. This is the third time that we’ve been flooded in the past 12 years and it’s definitely the worst. More water came in and went further back the shop than it did on either of the other two occasions,” she said.

Next door, Irene O’Driscoll, manager of the O2 store, was similarly counting the cost of the clean-up, relieved that none of their stock had been damaged but concerned about the damage to electrical sockets and power points low on the walls.

“All the drains blocked up so you ended up not just with water but with this disgusting dirty sewage-like stuff, so we had to get industrial cleaners in to clean the place. You might expect heavy rain in November but you never expect it to happen in June,” she said.

Killian McGrath of The Print Factory reckoned he was lucky compared to some other businesses around, but saw at first hand the terrifying impact that torrential rain and sudden flooding can have as he came across a stranded motorist on the Youghal Road.

“The poor woman was stuck in her car and it was nearly up to the bonnet – luckily I was in my Jeep and I was able to assist her and get her out of there. It came down in the space of a couple of hours – I’ve never seen flooding like it in Midleton.”

Elsewhere in east Cork, Carrig-twohill and Castlmartyr reported heavy rainfall and ponding on the roads, as did Youghal.