Hurricane Charlie 30 Year anniversary
This month marks the 30th anniversary of Hurricane Charlie hitting Ireland.
I still recall that night in August 1986 when visiting my then girlfriend Miriam (now wife) in her house in Sandymount. The rain and wind was ferocious and I left around 10pm with some trepidation to drive the 5 or 6 Km home to Mount Merrion. There was one major lightning strike that knocked out all the street lights and traffic lights and the rain was coming down in sheets.
It was only the next morning that the extent of the devastation became evident. The River Dodder had burst it’s banks and flooded Ballsbridge, and parts of Milltown and Rathfarnham. The River Dargle in Bray had also burst it’s banks, and parts of Co. Wicklow has suffered destruction and property damage.
For a very long time afterwards there was debris caught in trees beside the Dodder at Rathfarnham, that were a stark reminder of the height the river water had risen up to.
Irish policyholders are suffering rising premiums and yet are subsidising disaster relief in other jurisdictions through re-insurance contributions. In Ireland, Insurers are allowed to “cherry-pick” and exclude flood cover from many property owners that are simply near a river but whose properties have never flooded.
30 years on, and despite millions having been spent on flood defences to allieviate 100 year weather events, Insurers still refuse to grant flood cover to property owners in some of these areas. It is about time that the Irish Government forced Insurers to provide such flood cover to all Irish home and business owners if they want a licence to operate in this jurisdiction.