On Christmas Day, Wexford Civil Defence was activated to flood relief efforts.
The initial tasking of 2pm invloved the rescue of a family trapped in a flooded house in the Killurin area. A Swift Water trained team immediately proceeded to the location. Travelling to the area was particularly hazardous due to debris on the roads, water and damage to the roads. Slow progress in parts as a volunteer needed to walk with a wading pole through the water to check for road damage or missing manhole covers. 4×4 jeeps were to their height limit in places. The team arrived at the house and carried out a dynamic risk assessment. Water flooded the house and access to the house was blocked by a meter of fast flowing water down the driveway. The team eventually established a clear pathway with wading poles. The three occupants of the house were carried to safety using an inflatable sledge to the roadway which involved four trips in total. The family and their pets were transported to a neighbour’s house.
Civil Defence then received a call from the Chief Fire Officer seeking assistance at Bridgetown where many houses had been flooded with persons still in the houses. Volunteers were tasked to go to Bridgetown and carry out a further assessment, determine the number of people remaining in houses and evacuate anyone who required evacuation. The volunteers returned to base for additional equipment, torches inflatable raft etc. and proceeded to Bridgetown. Additional drivers and a minibus were tasked to provide transport. Due to weather and road conditions all volunteers on standby remained in their homes to be called in as needed. The journey to Bridgetown was also hazardous due to the amount of flooding on the roads, and debris washed out onto the roads and some abandoned vehicles. Bridgetown was flooded on both sides of the bridge over the canal to about a meter in height. Civil Defence liaised with Kilmore Coast Guard and Fethard RNLI, established that 21 people were reported in house in An Plasán, and one person remaining in a house in St David’s Well. CDO, Peter O’Connor briefed the Chief Fire Officer of the situation on the ground, informed by him that the RACFO was enroute along with New Ross Fire Service and that Wexford County Council Housing Department had arranged accommodation as per the Flooding Emergency Plan. Civil Defence transported people through the floods with an inflatable raft to the nearby Ferns Diocesan Youth Service Centre (FDYS), who at that stage were providing tea coffee and accommodation.
A 4WD was deployed to pick up additional sleeping bags and camp beds for persons staying at FDYS centre. 10 beds and sleeping bags were delivered to FDYS for use during the night. Civil Defence established who was to be evacuated to emergency accommodation which resulted in four persons being taken by raft though flooding on both sides of the bridge in Bridgetown and transported to emergency accommodation in Wexford Town by minibus.
Civil Defence returned to HQ at 8.30 pm after 7 hours of sustained support.
- 8 Volunteers deployed
- Further 21 on Standby
- 2 x 4×4 Jeeps
- 1 x Minibus
- 2 x Inflatable Rafts, ropes torches, inflatable hose
- 10 x camp beds
- 10 x sleeping bags