Disastrous flooding today destroys and damages
Today Friday Novemeber 20th 2009 is black Friday at The Kingsley Hotel, when we saw what can only be described as one of the worst disasters ever seen at the Hotel. The torrential downfall on Thursday led to an evening of disaster when this apparent once in 800-year flood event struck.We were equipped and ready to protect against the usual minor flooding, but and at around midnight some 535 tonnes of water per second were released from the Inniscarra Dam near Ballincollig, in turn causing the river current to gather rapid strength and offering us no hope of escape whatsoever.
At that moment The Kingsley went from being a nice relaxed Hotel, where people were eating, socialising and sleeping to a diaster zone within minutes.The ground floor had at one stage more than 4 feet of water flowing through the lobby, the bars and kitchens and with 6 feet and more at the exterior. People were evacuated under the calm and professional watchful eye of the Hotels General Manager Ms.Michelle Moloney and all this was done without panic.Guests who were still up saw how fast the power of mother nature took hold. Those who were in their beds were left sleep through until they were ready to get up and face the horrible disaster which unfolded in the few hours. This allowed us more time to evacuate those in urgent need of flights etc.
A million thanks to the volunteers from Waterfall who offered us the services of their tractor and trailer to take all our guests to safe ground, these lads are part of Formworks in Waterfall, Colm Kane along with brothers Brian and Danny Hourihan and their friends.To the absolutely wonderful and courageous Staff of the Hotel whose only priority was ensuring all guests needs and safety were looked after 110%. The Hotel and Residences guests were absolutely brilliant and so understanding of the situation and I can honestly say not one of the 240 guests of the Hotel created any fuss only assisted us in carrying out an emergency yet very calm evacuation.
The Boston Scientific Guests had finished their week long conference and were all heading back to the USA on a mode of transport I'm sure they can never forget.......Guys you were so kind and so understanding...Thank you all!!!
Audi were having a car lauch over the the few days and again this turned in to disaster for them before it began, again they were so understanding and extremely helpful as were all our guests. Go raibh mile maith agaibh go leir!!!
What blew me away was the genuine support from other Hotels in the area particulary Maryborough House Hotel, Jurys Hotel,The Fota Hotel and golf resort, The Metropole Hotel, The Maldron Hotel, The Castle Hotel Macroom, and Clarion Hotel who could not offer enough help. Many thanks to each and everyone of your welcome support. An early morning call from Spring Grove Services offering free towels and any help needed, thanks Noel and Pat. An afternoon call from The Randles family in Killarney offering us some R&R once the ordeal was over was just typical of what this country and the Hotel industry are made up of....what more can I say only thanks ..thank you all a million times over.
Our dedicated staff were just brilliant.. you are all brilliant and true heros! We will clean up, we will repair and we will continue the Kingsley as we did for the last 12 years. As long as its there the Hotel has never flooded, the Lee fields flood annually but the Kingsley is on higher ground and escapes but not last night I'm afraid!!!! But someone tell me what would survive the power of 535 tonnes of water per second being released down on us without any warning in the middle of the night?? A truly terrible ordeal. As a result of this horrible night The Kingsley is closed for at least this week coming and possibly longer.
Someone put a video up on Youtube today taken hours after the disaster and if you take a look you will see how bad it was for yourself.
I will keep you posted on any updates, please keep your support for us alive now more than ever!