As residents of Orchardville Crescent waded through the waist-high waters in their street last Wednesday evening, the reality – surreal as it seemed – of what was happening around them hit home.
Against the backdrop of their personal possessions floating by them in the street and the distant weeping of residents who found it all too much, the street’s inhabitants pulled together to salvage what they could.
As the waters rose both inside the homes and out, some residents were literally carried to safety by their neighbours.
The worst hit area was a small cul-de-sac in Orchardville Cresent where the water level rose to four feet and more in places.
“The flash floods caught on fairly quickly and it was obvious the water wasn’t getting away, it kept rising and wasn’t going down,” said one resident.
“It seemed to be coming in from the back where Cranmore Integrated is, and from the front too, the drains were blocked and it wasn’t getting away.
“There was about a foot of water in our house but it was waist-high in others. So much was destroyed, the floors were wrecked, the sofas, the kids’ toys, the fridge and dishwasher. It came on so quick, there was just no time to save anything.”
Another resident of Orchardville Crescent had a similar story to tell.
“Residents had to climb through to the back of Woodlands to open a manhole themselves because nobody came to help. I saw some residents carrying elderly neighbours on their backs
“Through all of this, nobody came to help, nobody came until the next day and sure the water was gone by then.”
Another resident said effectiveness of the drainage system has been in doubt for a long time and complaints have been made to authorities long before last week’s flooding.
“Residents have been told they will be out for three months,” she said. “It’s so unfair because we have been warning about this poor drainage system long before this incident.
“There are clear drainage problems, especially in the cul-de-sac, and it was left for so long that we have had to suffer this, everything is destroyed now, there were photographs and everything floating through here. Everything has had to be dumped, the cars in the street are damaged too.
“The drain may be cleared now but it’s too little too late.”