Holy Flooding Dublin!

I’m expecting “I Survived the Great Dublin Flood 2011” t-shirts to go on sale soon.  Or is that more of an American thing?

Yes, Dublin is flooding.  Which sounds slightly ridiculous, even to me.  But last night, all hell broke lose, in the forms of rivers flooding, rain falling, and sewers bubbling over.

Sure, it rains a lot in Ireland.  But usually not all in one day.  We got an entire month’s worth of rain in 24 hours.  And being autumn, leaves were blocking a lot of sewers and such, leaving the water no where to go but up.

Josh and I got to experience this first hand.  We decided to be brave and go out for dinner at our local pub.  It’s just a few short blocks away, it shouldn’t have been a big deal.  As I went to step outside, I saw the rain coming at an angle…and thought to myself “You know Phoebe, yesterday, as you walked home in the rain, the bottom half of your pants got soaked.”  And decided to change into my rain boots – my $20 rain boots I got at Target a few years ago.

So we walked through the rain, getting all close and cuddly trying to huddle under the big umbrella.  My plan was to have dinner with Josh, then walk over to my friend’s, and together we’d wade our way to knitting group.  So I brought a smaller umbrella when Josh and I parted ways.  I had a plan.  It almost went well.

We got halfway to the pub and stopped…and said “Wow.”  Because in front of us, on the sidewalk, a manhole cover was bubbling over with water.  I’ve never seen that before.  Not sure Josh has either.

But I thought, as water pooled around my ankles, “You know, I don’t want to know how well these boots hold out water.” and told Josh “Let’s keep moving.”

And that’s when we stepped into almost knee-deep water.


Yes, the water was suddenly up to our knees.  My boots held up beautifully…well, until they ended right below my knee.  We tried crossing the street.  Bad move.  We may have considered just doing a backstroke across the road.  Instead, we opted to wade through it. My feet stayed dry.  My knees got wet.  The jeans I tucked inside the boots kept water from coming in though, so it wasn’t too bad.  Josh was soaked from the knees down.  His only comment was “Good call on the boots honey.”

But we made it to the pub and got dinner.  And watch the street get more and more full of water, and the buses splash by. I joked to Josh how it would be awful to get stranded on a bus in the water.  Go figure, this morning I read a news article about how one bus did have water coming in, to the point that passengers had to stand on the seats.

At one point, the one bartender said “You guys may get stuck here for the night.” Oh damn. Stuck in a pub.  With a full bar.  And a kitchen.  And cable tv.  That sounds rough.

But we didn’t get stuck.  I also didn’t go knit.  Half the group was stuck in traffic due to roads flooding.  So I had another drink instead, and a sticky toffee pudding.  Eventually the rain actually let up and we decided to wade home.

On our walk home I learned that when manhole covers bubble up with water, they’re not that stable.  Luckily, I found this out by pushing on it with my foot.  Then I panicked as it wobbled and tried to get it back over the hole, for fear I’d be the cause of someone else falling into the hole.

As we got to our street via the cut through path, we saw the park across the road – a big green area that has a low wall surrounding it.  We could hear water moving and looked – and there in front of us we saw that on the other side of the knee-high wall, water had filled the lower area of the park and was pushing at the wall to the point that the water was coming through the cracks in the wall.

Wall with water coming over the top and through it.


Amazingly, our house didn’t flood, nor did it leak except for one small corner of the storage room skylight.  However, literally down the road from us, our shopping centre flooded.  Yes, the largest shopping centre in all of Ireland had water rushing into it.  There’s a river nearby, and that burst over its banks, causing Dundrum Shopping Centre to flood.

Inside of Dundrum - photo taken from irishtimes.com

And now, it’s sunny.  Blue skies and pretty white clouds.  Maybe my umbrella will finally have a chance to dry out!


A little video I found on YouTube that shows the flooding – in and outside of Dundrum Shopping Centre, plus various flood shots, and a shot of a Dublin Bus flooding…