Bill to stop repeat of floods will hit €50m

An estimated €50m is needed for flood relief works to prevent a repeat of the late June devastation inflicted on towns and villages in Cork.

County engineer Noel O’Keeffe says some works could be done relatively quickly. For others, though, it will take a lot longer before they have peace of mind.

He said Cork County Council is already preparing a brief on a flood study for the River Glashaboy which burst its banks, flooding up to 60 houses in Glanmire.

Mr O’Keeffe said that subject to government-approved funding, work could start on the Glanmire flood prevention works by 2014.

Building a flood-retaining wall on the banks of the River Glashaboy will form the main part of the work which, overall, will likely cost in the region of €5m.

“We hope to have consultants appointed to carry out a detailed study on what works will be needed there within the next eight weeks. We expect it will take them six to nine months to finalise their report,” Mr O’Keeffe said.

“We have to do such studies so we can see what is at greatest risk and how we can protect it.”

Emergency repair works have already been completed in Clonakilty to stabilise and repair walls and bridges.

Mr O’Keeffe said the OPW had now taken over the flood prevention scheme in the West Cork town and “would accelerate it”.

“This will turn into a major scheme like Skibbereen or Bandon. Protecting Clonakilty could cost up to €10m,” he said.

“It will take a lot longer to complete than Glanmire. It will take a number of years to get all the work needed done there.”

He is hoping, however, the OPW will agree to fund the flood-prevention study in Douglas, where a number of businesses suffered from flash flooding.

“It could take a month to complete that study and then we will have to analyse the results. But works could feasibly start there within a couple of weeks. However, it’s complex in Douglas because in places it’s quite steep within what is a short catchment area.”

Meanwhile, the OPW is going to shortly advertise for consultants to help it work on flood prevention in the Ballyvolane and Blackpool areas. It may take some months before these are appointed.

Mr O’Keeffe said flood-prevention studies would also be carried out in the Ballyvourney, Inchigeela, and Ballymackeera areas.

A special study will focus on Coachford, which also suffered, and could take up to six weeks to complete.

Meanwhile, Cork County Council, acting on behalf of the Department of the Environment, has sent questionnaires to an estimated 370 businesses which were hit by the flood.

They will be asked to return the questionnaire to the local authority by this Friday, Aug 10.

Business owners will have to describe the nature of their premises, if it was insured, if it had been previously flooded, and their approximate losses from the Jun 28 flood.

The information is expected to be used at a later date by the Government to make special funding available to help them get back on their feet.


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