Damage being assessed as Donegal escapes the worst

Donegal County Council is assessing the damage to roads following localised flooding around the north of the county on Monday night.

Donegal County Council is assessing the damage to roads following localised flooding around the north of the county on Monday night.

Communities from Castlefin to Falcarragh were affected by the heavy rain which moved up through the county on Monday, causing flooding to streets, roads and land.

Main roads were impassable and homes and businesses were affected following several hours of heavy rain.

Met Éireann said 19mm of rain were recorded at Malin Head between 3 pm on Monday hand 5 am on Tuesday, but the county escaped the worst of the weather that brought chaos to Dublin and the east coast and cost two lives. In Dublin 65.7mm fell between 3 pm and 7 pm.

The areas in Donegal affected included Lifford, Ballindrait, Castlefin, Burt, Raphoe, Downings, Carrigart and Falcarragh. In Lifford a 94-year-old woman was one of those who had to leave their homes.

Many of the problems were caused by drains that could not cope with the volume of water coming through them.

Donegal initiated its emergency response plan as the fire service responded to calls in up to six different areas across the northern half of the county. The council’s head of Finance Garry Martin, speaking at the scene of flooding in Lifford on Tuesday, said personnel from the roads and water and environment sections of the council were deployed as the severity of the weather. Many of them worked into the early hours of the morning and returned to aid in the clear up the following day.

Among the worst roads affected were the N15 from Lifford to Killygordon, the N14 from Lifford to Letterkenny and the road from Lifford to Ballindrait.

“There has been a lot of damage done to roads and we still need to asses and quantify that,” Mr Martin said.

He thanked the local people in areas affected for their response to the situation. “There was a very large number of people on the ground and the work that they did needs to be acknowledged.”

He said the council was aware of the weather alert late afternoon on Monday. The fire service was able to respond to calls as required and the response “worked quite well”.

The Ballindrait area was one of those badly affected and local councillor Gerry Crawford said a state of emergency now exists in relation to the roads and the drainage in parts of east Donegal area. “Central government has to look at funding for the situation we have now because we did have not got over the damage caused by the winter and we have this to deal with,” he commented.

For more coverage see page 2.