Study on town flood risks

FEARS of a recurrence of major flooding in Tralee have prompted a new study of at-risk areas of the town.

Water run-off from large-scale housing and business developments that took place in the Kerry capital during the Celtic Tiger era has raised concerns that the town could again be subject to serious flooding.

Following recent heavy rainfall, there was flooding in the Ballymullen area of Tralee.

Huge floods which swamped Tralee town centre in 1986 led to calls for action to tackle a problem that had plagued the town for decades.

A flood analysis report was prepared and the Tralee flood relief scheme was carried out in 1997. It involved the building of new sewers and culverts to extend the drainage network and divert flood water.

But, in the wake of building and road developments since the mid-1990s, previously predicted flood levels may no longer be accurate.

Engineers believe areas most at risk are close to the path of the locally-known Big River which flows under some of the principal streets of Tralee.

Tidal flooding and urban drainage are also increasing the risk of flooding, according to the council.

The council is also working to clear blockages from Tralee’s flood plains and wetlands to ensure there is adequate capacity to absorb flood waters from low-lying areas.

Meanwhile, flooding along the lakeshore at Killarney – which led to the early winter closure of the Lake Hotel and made the clubhouse at Killarney Golf Club – has started to recede.

Some remedial works will have to be carried out on the golf courses but the club’s general manager Maurice O’Meara said flood damage would not affect the hosting of the Irish Open Golf Championship in Killarney in July 2010.

Tourist landmark Ross Castle was also cut off and boathouses owned by Killarney rowing clubs were inundated during what is believed to have been the worst flooding in the area in more than 60 years.

It has also been announced that the Office of Public Works has allocated €13,500 to help fund a study of recurring flooding in Glenflesk, near Killarney, and on the N22 Cork to Killarney road.


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