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‘Flash flood could have claimed lives’

A LOCAL man has described his relief that nobody was killed when a freak flood hit his family home near Pomeroy on Tuesday evening.

Barry Morgan returned to the family home at Shanmaghry to the scene of devastation following the deluge which lasted just minutes.

Seven puppies died and he battled successfully to save a number of other greyhounds from being drowned. He said the frightening scene had terrified his three young children.

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The flood followed a brief spell of torrential rain centred on the Pomeroy, Altmore and Galbally areas.

A shocked Mr Morgan told the Herald said it was fortunate nobody had been killed or seriously injured as a result of the flooding.

He said his wife, Carrly, and their three children had been out when the waters came gushing down from nearby hills at around 4pm.

“My first thought was for them and to see if they were safe and I rang her straight away to say that the whole place was completely flooded. The children were terrified when they saw what was happening.

“The dogs which were wedged against gates were in complete shock. I swam over to get them out, but unfortunately seven young pups died, with the mother beside them.

“It’s a tragedy that the little pups died, but the flood could have been in the house and anyone could have died if they’d been caught up in this because the force of the water was so frightening.

“My ice-cream van was moved by about 40 feet and the flooring of the van had been turned around as well. There’s a lawnmower and garden equipment, sanding machines and other equipment that were in the sheds and they are destroyed as well.

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“There was no rain when Carrly left here at around 3.50pm but it was just a complete disaster when I returned just over an hour later,” he said.

“Everything is just in complete mayhem and I can’t really think at the moment about what to do.

“It’s just a complete freak because the rain only fell for around 40 minutes. Nothing could have coped with the volume of water that engulfed us here.

“We’ve been here 14 years building up the business and yet something like this can happen in the space of minutes.”

Mr Morgan runs Morgan Flooring and Morgan Icecream and is now looking to replace thousands of pounds worth of machinery that have been damaged beyond repair.

His wife, Carrly, said the flood waters had spread to adjoining fields when she returned home.

“It was just unbelievable and it was very scary for the children who are still very young. I’m trying to be positive and happy that we are all alright,” she said.

“Something like this is a massive shock for all of us, especially since the water is confined to such a small area. Thankfully, the water didn’t come up as far as the house which is a bit higher up.”

The kennels and dog runs were left under water.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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