Darwin trapped by floodwaters and landslides

Darwin trapped by floodwaters and landslides

Dramatisation of what the flood looked like

I hate waking up in a strange bed (alone) so rather than stay the night I decided to drive home late yesterday evening after a gig in Dingle. I was drafted in to accompany the excellent Ms Siobhán O'Brien &co. on Spanish banduria and Portuguese viola de Braguesa. She is promoting her recent album of American folk tunes, and all in all the show sounded great.

As soon as we finished signing autographs I left for home.

At around 1:30 am, past Abbeyfeale, I started to encounter some flooding on the road. As I approached Newcastlewest this became severe. I followed a Guinness truck, out of habit, through a particularly bad patch. I kept in its wake and only just made it to the highest part of South Quay in Newcastlewest.

When I got to the top of the town I saw that I couldn't go any further. Two rivers of floodwater met from both sides of the street and ploughed down to the bridge.

I turned around and tried to retrace my route but it was too late, the water level had risen behind me and I was trapped on a stretch of road just a few hundred metres long. I went back towards the town but the rising waters accelerated as I watched, eventually covering cars up to their windows.

I eventually accepted that I could go nowhere and I sat in the car. Then the local electricity went and the road lighting was gone. I started to wonder if I would get home by the weekend.

Thankfully, at about 5:00 am the water had receded enough to allow me to return to Abbeyfeale and take the road for Dromcolliher. I've never been so pleased to reach Dromcolliher.

The emergency vehicle drivers to whom I talked claimed that some surrounding back roads were washed away in places, and that others were impassable due to landslides. I saw some evidence of that as I navigated the highest ground back to Limerick.

Got home at 6:30 am. Bedtime.

Read The Irish Times report

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