Plans afoot to prevent further damage to flood-prone village of Crookstown

Residents of a Co Cork village hit by a severe flood are hoping engineers will, finally, move speedily to protect homes and businesses from any repeat.

Plans afoot to prevent further damage to flood-prone village of Crookstown

Crookstown suffered flood damage on three sides on June 28, 2012 — the day a deluge caused millions of euro in damage in Douglas, Glanmire and Clonakilty among other centres.

Located near Macroom and just off the main Cork to Killarney road, the peak flooding happened in Crookstown at 3am when the River Bridge and River Brouen burst their banks following torrential rain.

While nobody was injured, 10 houses were badly damaged as was the local shop along with the pub, garage, an industrial unit, and two warehouses.

A large number of acres of agricultural land downstream were flooded and lambs and other livestock drowned.

A blocked drain did not help either as it backed up a spring which also flows into the village. Flood waters on the roadway entered the grotto and demolished a nearby wall.

County council engineers together with consultants Byrne Looby PH McCarthy have started a first phase of public consultation in relation to proposed flood prevention works. They want submissions to be returned by June 26.

They will then hold a further public consultation in the autumn, by which time definite plans will be unveiled. Council engineers said they hope to start work in Crookstown towards the end of 2017 and it will take around 12 months to complete.

The local authority said it was vitally important to receive information from locals about the last flood and previous ones to build defences.

However, they indicated that the project is likely to involve building flood embankments and the possible dredging of both rivers which could involved discussions with Inland Fisheries.

Michael McSwiney, whose shop and adjoining house were extensively damaged in the 2102 flood, said it was not the first time the village had been hit.

“A considerable amount of stock was damaged and I can’t get flood insurance any more,” he said.

“We are sitting here praying it doesn’t happen again, so I hope the engineers can get the project completed as quickly as possible,” he said.

Dan Clifford, who owns Clifford’s pub, said: “I saw it build up across the road at about 1am and I knew then I had to take some precautions [to prevent even worse damage]. I’ve been here 19 years and, in that time, we’ve been flooded three times.

“But, the last time, water came down the Béal na Bláth road as well which I never saw before,” said Mr Clifford.

He said something needed to be down with the nearby bridge to ensure water escaped under it more speedily and didn’t back up — which was one of the main reasons the village flooded.

Deirdre Fitton, who helps her sister run the village post office, said some residents in adjoining Belmont Place were also inundated by flood waters.

“It came into the village on three sides. I just hope they [engineers] can get the project started as soon as possible.”

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