Council warns against driving into floods

 - Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
The scene at Currakyle South yesterday – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

Clare County Council has again warned motorists not to risk driving through floods.

It follows an incident yesterday where elderly women became trapped in their car after driving into floodwaters.

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The incident happened at around 11.40am at Currakyle South on the Corofin to Ennistymon Road which is signposted as being closed and flooded.

The women, both in their 60’s, were travelling to Ennistymon for some shopping when they entered a flood which is said to be five feet deep in places.

They used a mobile phone to alert the emergency services reporting that the water had entered their car and had reached the steering wheel.

Staff at the Munster Regional Fire Control Centre in Limerick maintained contact with the occupants of the car while emergency services rushed to the scene.

A fire officer and two specially trained Swift-Water Rescue Technician’s (SRTs) raced to the incident in a faster fire service vehicle while two further appliances from Ennis were also mobilised.

The National Ambulance Service and An Garda were also alerted to the incident.

Controllers advised fire crews travelling to the scene that one of the women was “extremely distressed” while both also reported being very cold.

On arrival at the scene, fire personnel found the vehicle in several feet of water with both occupants still inside.

Photos: © Pat Flynn 2015

Two fire service SRT’s waded through the flood to reach the vehicle and found the women up to their waist in water. The women were carried to safety and placed in a fire service vehicle until further resources arrived.

A trained emergency medical technician (EMT) who is also a member of the fire service assessed the woman to ensure they weren’t hypothermic.

After being examined by HSE ambulance paramedics it was established that despite being wet and cold, the women required no further medical assistance.

One emergency worker said: “They were very lucky – it was fair cold in there. The water was up to the steering wheel and they were rattling with the cold. It must be really frightening sitting in a car with the water up to your chest like that. They were in good spirits in fairness but must know how lucky they are.”

Clare County Council had listed the road close to Rath Church as being flooded and has since warned motorists about the danger of attempting to drive through floodwaters.

Director of Services Anne Haugh: “We are advising motorists to slow down when driving through floodwaters on public roads for safety reasons and to minimise the impact on adjacent properties, particularly in urban locations. The advice continues to be not to drive through flooded road situations.”

On Monday night, a woman was rescued from her car by the fire service after she drove into a flood at Cragataska near Clooney in Co Clare.

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