Sunday, July 01, 2012


We've had a lot of rain recently. 

Rivers are full and overflowing but one night last week a month's worth of rain fell in a few hours. 

It bucketed it down on Wednesday night. 

Tons of homes and businesses in and around our local city of Cork were destroyed. 

The pictures were like something from the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004. 

A local shopping centre that only opened two years ago in Douglas Village was decimated. I took my eldest there less than a month ago to kit him out in school uniform ready for him starting school in September. 

We marveled at the lovely new shopping centre, the art on the walls, the kids train ride, the little red tractor ride, the shop that sold beautifully hand-crafted wooden toys, and the pet shop with rabbits and guinea pigs at toddler-high level so we could coo over them. 

On Wed night, as the rain overwelmed the sewer system and pipes burst and raw sewage rose up to meet the rising water, 6 feet of contaminated water washed through this village, destroying everything in its wake.

Including all the lovely animals in low cages in the pet shop. There were large fish tanks as well at low levels, that must have taken in the contaminated water too.

Many people I've talked to what happened to Douglas Village this week have said, "well Tesco should never have built on the site". But wasn't the site there already? From what I gather, Tesco just revamped an existing site didn't they?

And what about all the other shop owners who were scraping by, trying to make a living there? And what about the poor owners of the pet store who are grieving not only for their lost livelihood but for for their beloved pets who didn't stand a chance. 

It's so sad to think of those poor animals who were left in cages alone in that shop overnight, as the rising mud water swept them to their death.

Tesco, which had 90,000 sq foot at Douglas, its largest store in the area, has had to scrap everything and start from scratch again, treating it like a brand new store opening all over again. Massive containers have been coming in to take away the destroyed food and drink, tils and shopping trolleys, electrical items and back-office stock. All of it contaminated with sewage water and having to be destroyed.
How depressing. When you think about the food chain and the what is involved in stocking a shop, and all the farmers and manufacturers out there barely scraping by in this recession, it's a sobering thought that a store filled with enough produce to help overcome starvation in a small corner of Africa has had to throw it all away.
Why did it happen? Because somebody somewhere years ago thought it was a good idea to build a shopping centre on top of a river. In fact the whole of Douglas was once a river - it takes its names from the river bearing the Gaelic word Dubhghlas or dark stream.

They concreted over the 'dark stream' in the 1980s and "progress" sprung up on top.

I was trying to explain all the rain and floods to my 4 year old the other day but all I could come up with was "Mother Nature is not happy". It tripped off the top of my head. "She's sending all this rain because she's crying at how much we're destroying her lovely planet."

And in that sentence it all makes sense. 

1 comment:

herbkim said...

Wow. I had no idea. Newcastle got really hard hit but I don't think it was as extreme as this :-(