Exhibits on flood-risk areas and proposals in Cork

Three major exhibitions are to be held in Cork this week dealing with the potential for flooding in a number of areas and what measures can be taken to mitigate against it.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) and its consulting engineers, Mott MacDonald, will host the public exhibitions at The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow this afternoon, County Hall on Wednesday and the public library in Skibbereen on Thursday.

The exhibitions will be open each day from 2.30pm to 7.30pm and members of the public in flood-risk areas are being asked to attend.

John Martin, head of the the OPW’s flood risk assessment and management section, said the Mallow meeting will concentrate on the mapping along the Blackwater River and its tributaries, the River Lee and the Cork harbour area. The areas covered here are Fermoy, Freemount, Kanturk, Mallow, Rathcormack, Youghal, Ballingeary, Castlemartyr, Killeagh, Inchigeelagh, Ballymakeery/Ballyvourney, Blarney/Tower, Carrigaline, Cobh, Cork City, Crookstown, Douglas, Glanmire, Little Island, Macroom, Middleton /Ballinacurra, Passage West, Togher, and Whitegate.

The County Hall exhibition will include the above plus the Bandon area, River Illen (Skibbereen) and the Dunmanus and Bantry areas. Areas included here are Bantry, Castletown Bearhaven, Durrus, Bandon, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Inishannon, Schull, and Skibbereen.

The Skibbereen exhibition focuses on the Bandon area, the River Illen, and the Dunmanus/Bantry catchment. It also includes Bantry, Castletown Bearhaven, Durrus, Bandon, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Inshannon, Schull and Skibbereen.

“These are the end product of flood risk management plans, which we have been working on for several years,” said Mr Martin. “These are some of around 300 areas we have been looking at around the country and they show where land/property is at risk.

Flood maps will be available for all the above-mentioned areas and will show the likely outcome of one-in-10-year flooding; one-in-100-year flooding; and one-in-1,000-year flooding. Engineers have looked at the potential for river, tidal and coastal flooding.

“We have identified areas at risk and looked at what options might be feasible for flood prevention works,” Mr Martin said.

He said that in a number of cases capital works are planned to install flood defences, but in other cases it was viewed that installing them in other areas was not cost beneficial.

Mr Martin said that in the case of the latter areas engineers would be providing advice on how to lessen the risk.

“We would be promoting public awareness of the issue, promoting sustainable plans and development (which wouldn’t increase flood risk) land management use and community resilience and showing landowners how to protect themselves,” the senior engineer said.

The plans being unveiled at the three venues are being compiled under the CFRAM policy (Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment & Management).

People have until September 23 to make submissions on the plans.


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