Screen that triggered huge flood to go

A culvert trash screen which became blocked with debris during a torrential downpour, triggering a devastating flood through a Cork suburb, is to be removed.

Cork County Council confirmed yesterday the removal of the trash screen on the culvert in Douglas will be completed over the coming days.

It is hoped the screen’s removal, coupled with upgraded CCTV surveillance of the culvert, will help minimise flood risk.

Douglas village was swamped by a massive flood on Jun 28 when the blocked trash screen was overwhelmed with flood waters, spilling millions of gallons of water into the town centre and causing tens of millions of euro worth of damage.

The council commissioned consultants RPS to prepare a report on the incident.

However, the council’s insurers recommended the RPS draft report be further examined. The report has yet to be presented to councillors.

But yesterday, Declan Daly, the divisional manager for South Cork, told councillors for the Carrigaline area that the council has now received a report from Paul Twomey and Associates, consulting engineers, which was prepared following sight of the draft RPS report.

Paul Twomey and Associates has recommended further short-term works pending the completion of a more comprehensive catchment study, including:

* The development of an operation and maintenance plan for the Church St culvert and the Ballybrack stream channel which runs through it.

* The use of the Community Park as a flood buffer.

* The interim removal of the trash screen with its possible relocation further upstream to be considered following completion of the catchment study

* A risk assessment of the security arrangements at the culvert following removal of the screen.

“The report concludes that there remains a risk of flooding in Douglas following the execution of the above works but that these measures will help reduce the risk until the wider study can be completed and its recommendations implemented,” Mr Daly said.

Cllr Tim Lombard, who represents the area, welcomed the news.

“The recommendations from this report make practical sense and will hopefully ensure that flood risk in the Douglas area is minimised in the future.”

But he said that it was “absolutely amazing” councillors still haven’t seen the RPS report.

The catchment-wide study, expected to take 18 months to complete, will proceed with the procurement of consultants scheduled for completion by April or May next.

The news emerged as several county Cork towns remained on flood alert last night following 24-hours of heavy rain which caused widespread localised flooding.

In Cork, the Ballea road from Carrigaline to Ballygarvan, and the N71 Wilton road from Sarsfield road roundabout towards Wilton and at the entrance to Elm Vale estate were impassable.

Severe flooding also affected the Crosshaven road at Kilnagleary Business Park, and the Tower Road in Blarney.

There was flooding on the N72 Killarney road near the Cork Racecourse at Mallow and bad flooding was also reported in Belgooly on the Cork to Kinsale road.

In West Cork, the Ilen River burst in banks on the west side of Skibbereen while Bandon remained on alert with flood waters on the N71 main road to Cork. There was also heavy surface waters on the Enniskeane road and the Crossbarry route.

In Waterford, there was heavy flooding at Garranbane School near Dungarvan, and localised flooding in Tramore.


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