Following the 2012 Douglas floods traders will hope to defy the odds once again

Following the 2012 Douglas floods traders will hope to defy the odds once again
The Douglas Shopping Centre in the aftermath of the 2012 flash flood. Pictured is security man Paddy Duffy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The closure of the Douglas Shopping Centre and the uncertain future for traders has brought back memories of the 2012 flood which caused huge damage to the village and destroyed the ground floor of the shopping centre.

The car fire that broke out on Saturday evening set off a chain reaction that caused significant structural damage to the car park building which will now require partial demolition and reconstruction.

Douglas village underwater during the flood in June 2012. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Douglas village underwater during the flood in June 2012. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

It remains to be seen when the centre will be able to reopen. Traders, politicians and locals have raised concerns about the possible impact on business in the Douglas area.

However, it is not the first time Douglas Village Shopping Centre as been devastated by a disaster.

In 2012, a severe flash-flood devastated the centre as well as business and transport in the area.

The flood, which occurred towards the end of June 2012, caused damage to shops inside and outside the shopping centre leaving traders and homeowners with difficulties in getting insurance.

Around 50mm of rain fell between 1am and 4am on the morning of Thursday, June 28.

Water pouring into Douglas village shopping centre from the East side during the flood. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Water pouring into Douglas village shopping centre from the East side during the flood. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The severe downpour saw Cork County Council activate its flood response plan at 4am that morning but areas like Douglas, Blackpool and Glanmire were left devastated as up to 70mm of rain fell in some areas.

The problem was made worse by already saturated ground from the wettest June on record at the time.

Roads were impassable in the Douglas area and the Douglas Village Shopping Centre was left completely flooded after the water smashed through the glass doors of the building.

Debris inside the front door of the Douglas Shopping Centre, caused by the flood waters in June 2012. Picture: Denis Scannell
Debris inside the front door of the Douglas Shopping Centre, caused by the flood waters in June 2012. Picture: Denis Scannell

Despite the predictions at the time that the Douglas Village Shopping Centre may have been shut for up to a month as a result of the carnage, some traders were back in business in a matter of days.

Locals ploughed on with a clean-up operation following the deluge and ensured that most of the businesses in the centre were back trading within a week or so.

The flooding of Douglas in June 2012. Pic: Eddie O'Hare
The flooding of Douglas in June 2012. Pic: Eddie O'Hare

One month on from the devastating flood, the Douglas Business Association congratulated businesses that have reopened after the flood: “Special mention has to go to the business people in Douglas Village Shopping Centre that endured some of the worst but have triumphed and re-opened,” they said.

Now, seven years later, traders in Douglas are again facing a major challenge. 

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