The aftermath of the storm

The aftermath of the storm
Superstorm Christine has been described as one of the worst storms in 15 years to hit the country and has left a trail of destruction in her wake.

Superstorm Christine has been described as one of the worst storms in 15 years to hit the country and has left a trail of destruction in her wake.

Both Blackrock and Dundalk took a hammering from the destructive storm which brought tidal surges and winds of up to 75mph.

Enormous waves smashed through the small village last week, flooding the centre of the village and making it impossible for traffic to get through.

Fortunately the flooding subsided after Monday night and businesses along the front of the seaside village were able to start assessing the damage and get back to life as normal.

Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat Conor Hughes of Danny Hughes music and toy shop in Blackrock said that the main lesson learned was to be prepared for anything at all times.

“You have to be prepared for the worst,” said Conor. “We didn’t expect it to get as bad as it did and the tide was definitely a bit of a surprise.

“Thankfully the shop here wasn’t affected as most of the flooding happened at the top of town.”

Conor said that the experience was fun for the people that weren’t affected and the village turned into something of a “camera club” with crowds of people visiting the area to see the waves crashing over the walls.

Chloe McCumiskey of Belles Tearooms said that the worst day was Friday.

“We were up to our ankles in water and mopping it up as it came in.

“We had the sandbags every night and were given extras from the council but we were still up for the most of the night worrying.

“The flooding was bad on Monday as well and we had to close but it was the only day we did close.”

One man who the floods and waves didn’t deter was local postman Tom Gaskin.

Tom, who delivers post to the village and Blackrock area on his bike, continued to deliver letters and packages throughout the stormy weather.

“The water was up to my knee at one point but I kept going.

“I was on my way to the Loakers when someone stopped to tell me how bad it was and warned me not to go down but I had to.

Tom said in his opinion the flooding was ten times worse than the floods in 2002.

“The waves broke the wall up near the apartments and residents were given sandbags because they were afraid the water was going to reach them too.”

One of the businesses most affected by the storm was McQuillan’s pharmacy owned and run by Brian McQuillan.

“We are more or less back to normal at this stage,” Brisaid last Wednesday morning. “Our till system and credit card card facilities are back online and we are just assessing the extent of the damage.

“The worst of it was on Friday and we flooded again on Monday as well.

“There is more damage to stock than anything else as it was at a lower level

Brian said that would looking to set up some type of safety sytem for next time.

“The last storm before this was twelve years ago so we hopefully we won’t see another one for a long time.

He added that he was very grateful for all the help and support they recieved over the few days of flooding.

“I’d like to thank my neighbours and fellow businesses who really helped us out over the past few days. I am very grateful for their support.”