Fire brigade rushed water to hospital as city supply cut

Fire brigade rushed water to hospital as city supply cut

Cork City Fire Brigade pump water from a tanker up to the roof tanks at the Mercy University Hospital yesterday after the mains breaks in the city. Picture: Larry Cummins

CORK City Fire Department had to deliver a tanker of water to the Mercy University Hospital to ensure patient care and services could continue during that water outage that crippled city businesses.

A burst trunk water main caused major disruption in Cork city and surrounding areas and saw several businesses close their doors and turn away customers amid 22-degree temperatures.

Up to 40,000 homes and numerous businesses and schools were affected by the break which occurred on a trunk water main on the Lee Road in the morning.

Irish Water issued a statement at 7.30pm last night to say water had returned to all areas, Kate Lawlor, owner and head chef of Fenn's Quay restaurant said the situation was avoidable and a warning system needs to be set up by City Council in conjunction with Irish Water to ensure businesses can be better prepared.

“If they had a warning system in place, it would give us a heads up instead of us having to trawl through social media,” said Ms Lawlor.

“Cork City Council, even though they are not responsible for water, gave us no text alert. They would do if it was a weather warning or something else like that,” she added.

Ms Lawlor purchased 50 litres of water upon hearing news of the break but said that would only cover the restaurant's clean up for the day.

The restaurant closed at lunchtime and Ms Lawlor said that their prep for evening bookings had been ruined.

Several businesses in Washington St, Dame St and MacCurtain St were closed or preparing to close around lunchtime.

Artisan coffee shop Union Grind on Union Quay tweeted: “Unfortunately due to dirty water from Irish Water we have made the decision to close as we cannot serve coffee or prep for lunch.” Café Serendipity on Western Road also expressed their anger at having to close on social media Liberty Grill on Washington St had a sign up on their door notifying customers of their closure.

Ciara Harrington, manager of Wayne Lloyd hair salon on Washington St was turning disappointed customers away at the door and ringing those who had booked to cancel their appointments.

At approximately 4pm, normal water supply returned to the city centre, Mardyke and Marsh after water supplies were diverted from elsewhere. This was after staff were evacuated from the Tyndall building on Dyke Parade after decreased water pressure triggered an alarm in the Lee Maltings Complex.

Irish Water said their crews had located the burst and isolated it at 4pm yesterday.

“Irish Water apologises to all customers for the disruption caused by this incident and thanks them for their patience as we work to resolve it,” a statement read.

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