Army deployed in north west Ireland to help after ‘unprecedented and biblical’ floods

Army deployed in north west Ireland to help after ‘unprecedented and biblical’ floods

TROOPS are set to arrive in Co. Donegal today to assist with the clean-up operation following “biblical” flooding this week.

Thunder storms and major flooding ripped through the north west of Ireland from Tuesday night, leaving cars underwater and roads impassable.

Met Éireann has issues a further status yellow rainfall warning for five counties, with Donegal the worst affected with the potential for 25 to 40mm of rain in the next 24 hours.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Defence Minister Paul Kehoe said 30 soldiers will help Donegal County Council with the clean-up operation.

“I have no doubt that there will be loads of work for the members of the Defence Forces to deal with,” he said.

“I think we need to bring life back to normality for the people of Donegal.”

Mr Kehoe said yet more troops will be deployed to the region should extra help be necessary.

He said about 200 homes have been badly affected and that the damage is “absolutely devastating.”

“This is absolutely unprecedented, bibilical you could almost say,” he added.

When questioned about why it had taken two days for soldiers to be deployed to Donegal, Kehoe said the situation had to be assessed before action was taken.

“People just don’t fall out of the sky so there is a lot of coordination and work has to be carried out.”

Images have emerged showing submerged cars and mudslides in Donegal, with Derry and Derry City Airport inundated with water.

Drone footage taken from the skies shows the huge scale of the flooding, with water stretching as far as the eye can see.

Mr Keogh said he has spoken to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to stress the need for relief funding “to make sure we give every assistance to small businesses and homeowners.”

He added that the Department of Social Protection has made emergency income support payments to some of those affected.

An inter-agency meeting to discuss the Government’s response to the flooding will be held in Dublin today.