Carndonagh hit by worst flooding in 40 years

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A long time resident of Carndonagh has said last Friday’s rainfall was the heaviest in living memory with claims that up to a month’s rain fell in a little over 24 hours.

Speaking with the ‘Journal’ yesterday, Anna ‘Jock’ McLaughlin said there was flooding from the top of the planting all the way down Glentogher right into the town of Carn itself.

She said: “I have been told it was the worst flooding in 40 years; I certainly haven’t seen anything like it in all my time here.”

This opinion was supported by Senior Executive Engineer with Donegal Co. Council, Charlie Kerr.

“There was a triangle in Inishowen where the flood waters gathered - Muff, Greencastle and the Mintiaghs. The Aughaclay Road at Malin was washed away into a field.

“We were very concerned about a number of bridges too, particularly near Malin and Gleneely. Some of these have never had to deal with water at such a high level.

“We will be inspecting them in the coming days to make sure everything is alright.”

The Inishowen roads engineer also said that the lesson learned from Friday’s flooding is that it might now be necessary to put in place a protocol which would see bridges closed in the event of particularly heavy rain and/or flooding.

“We will be discussing this tomorrow.”

He went on: “What happens is that these summer storms come on quickly and within a couple of hours water can reach a high level in the hills and then it pours down the hillside into the streams. But they are usually over pretty quickly. What was different about this one was its duration - this downpour lasted a very long time.

And Paul Strawbridge, a Senior Supervisor with Donegal Co. Council based in Carndonagh, agreed that it was a massive downpour stating that it ‘did not stop raining all day’.

He said: “The volume was such that a water main - I’m told it was more than 40 years old - up behind the convent in Carn was totally washed away. A lot of pumps failed too as they could not deal with the level of water coming their way. There was serious flooding at the bottom of Glentogher and at Tulnaree.

“Our men were out working all day and they were flat out dealing with emergencies.

“There were some difficulties with supplies after the deluge, and that water main will now have to be replaced.

“I can’t say whether it was the worst flooding in 40 years - I haven’t been here 40 years! - but it was certainly the heaviest I have seen in my eight years here.”

Anna McLaughlin concluded: “It was very, very bad.”