East Cork flood defence plan may run until 2018

 David Stanton: Tenders are set to be finalised.

Details of a proposed €11m plan to combat flooding in East Cork will include the building of walls and embankments.

Glanmire, Midleton, and Ballinacurra have suffered repeated flooding in recent years, during which scores of houses and businesses have been damaged to the tune of millions of euro.

It is expected that the works in these three areas will be completed by around 2017/18.

Draft plans for preventing a reoccurrence are said to be at an advanced stage and will soon be published under the final Lee Catchment and Flood Risk Management Plan.

County engineer David Keane said the largest of the projects, costing approximately €10m, will focus on preventing flooding in Midleton and the nearby village of Ballinacurra.

As recently as July, these areas suffered again, mainly due to heavy rainfall.

Midleton-based Fine Gael TD David Stanton said he had been in touch with Brian Hayes, minister responsible for the OPW, and was advised that tenders are expected to be finalised before the end of the year for the appointment of consultants to design this scheme.

This was confirmed by Mr Keane, who said that, in the case of Midleton and Ballinacurra, the problem was bigger because engineers would have to rectify river flooding and tidal problems.

Meanwhile, Mr Keane said it was hoped to appoint consultants by next Friday to carry out the detailed design plan for €1m flood prevention works in the Glanmire area.

He said these works, which would also include walls and embankments, would centre around protecting commercial areas in Hazelwood and Meadowbrook estate in Riverstown.

On Jun 28, 2012, the 48-house estate was submerged, with some houses under nearly 2m of water, when the Glashaboy river burst its banks.

The rain was so intense it washed down 100 tonnes of timber which became lodged in the river close to St Stephen’s Hospital.

A couple of weeks later, the council removed the debris because it feared that, if dislodged by another flood, the debris could put people’s lives at risk.

Some houses were also damaged in nearby Sallybrook, and a number of businesses in the Hazelwood Shopping Centre were flooded.

“These type of works normally take about three years to complete,” said Mr Keane. “We would hope to have the Glanmire project ready by 2017, but the project in Midleton and Ballinacurra is larger and this might bring it into 2018.”

Jim Healy, chairman of Meadowbrook Residents’ Association, said he had hoped works would have started sooner, but was nonetheless happy at news that consultants were to be appointed later this week.

“Hopefully things will start moving a bit faster after that and we can get proper flood prevention measures in place,” said Mr Healy.


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