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Flood anger over Irish dam opening

Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board was last week criticised after it released huge volumes of water from a dam, causing the city of Cork to flood.

The River Lee in Cork city was already swollen because of the rain and high tides and breached flood defences beside the Mercy Hospital flattening a wall on the quays and inundating the hospital, University College Cork (UCC)and dozens of businesses and homes which had never flooded before.

UCC said: “Fourteen buildings… were badly affected by the flooding which began in the early hours of Friday morning after engineers at the Inniscarra dam allowed a massive volume of water to be released.”

Locals claimed the energy giant issued inadequate warnings before huge volumes of water were released through Inniscarra and Carridadrohid dams.

But the ESB said it gave authorities plenty of notice about the growing risk of a severe floods.

“The situation was managed and controlled but large volumes of water had to be released downstream,” the ESB said.

The university also said taxi drivers reported students “swimming” on the Western Road at 5am.

Water pumping stations were switched off because of the risk of contamination by flood waters.

Dr Con Murphy, Cork City GP and medical advisor to the county GAA, said it was the first time his surgery, which was under two feet of water, has been flooded.

“My problem is had I known it was coming I could have helped salvage some of the stuff that was destroyed,” the GP said.

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