THERE have been calls for an inquiry after several houses and a school in the Corbally area were flooded after the Canal Bank burst its banks late last night.
Around fourteen houses at Richmond Park were damaged by flood waters while Ard Scoil Mhuire was also flooded.
While the main Corbally Road was also affected in the early hours of this morning water did not enter any of the properties adjacent to the road.
While a number of houses were badly damaged by the flood waters, water did not enter the main building at Ard Scoil Mhuire and students and parents are being advised that the school is expected to open as normal tomorrow.
“Our thanks to those who worked through the night in Corbally to keep those in our community safe. Our thoughts and prayers are also with those who have been affected by the flooding,” reads a notice on the Ard Scoil Mhuire Facebook page.
Joe Tier who has lived at College Park for more than 30 years says the flooding was the worst he has experienced
“I was in bed and my son said look out the window and I came down and put on my clothes straight away and I gave him the keys of my car and he moved it away out of it. The army came along then and the fire brigade with sandbags,” said Joe who says while his home was surrounded by water, it did not enter the property.
A spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council says the surge of flood waters was as a result of an exceptionally high flood in the Shannon and
Mulkear rivers yesterday evening.
“Limerick City and County Council and Waterways Ireland responded to the problem on the canal and were successful in releasing the water on the canal after resolving some technical difficulties with the Park Locke gates,” said the spokesperson.
After the alarm was raised at around 8.30pm, council staff, members of the Fire and Rescue Service, Civil Defence and Defence Forces personnel were deployed and worked throughout the night.
A number of people were forced out of their homes and the level of damage is still being assessed. One family’s pet dog drowned after flood waters entered their home.
Hundreds of homes in the Corbally area were left without power for several hours after the ESB sub-station was shut down and some road closures remain in place.
A number of Munster fans who attended last night’s European Champions Cup match at Thomond Park are also counting the cost of the flooding.
Several cars which had been parked in the car park outside Ard Scoil Mhuire were caught up in the flood waters and were left there overnight.
“We just walked our way back (after the match) and it was only when we got to here we saw the water and realised the car was inaccessible and the water was rising further so we had to leave it there,” said Niall Finn from Macroom County Cork whose 152-registered Skoda was one of those caught up in the flood waters.
Minister Jan O’Sullivan who visited affected householders the Richmond Park area this morning says there should be an inquiry into what happened as people have concerns.
“The questions that are to be asked, I think, are in relation to the responsibilities of Waterways Ireland and the council but I am not going to lay any blame at this point in time because I don’t know exactly who is responsible,” she said.
Meanwhile, the ESB has confirmed it is to increase the rate of discharge at Parteen year from 405 cumecs (cubic metres per second) to 440 cumecs.
This level of water flow is likely to lead to increased flooding of roads, land and property in the vicinity of the weir including the areas of Springfield, Montpelier, Castleconnell,Mountshannon, Lisnagry.
There is also a warning of possible flooding on the campus of the the University of Limerick.