A five-point plan possibly worth floating

The terrible destruction of property and the dreadful inconvenience caused to residents in flooded areas in Ireland and Britain could have been prevented if the following precautions had been provided after previous flooding.

1. The building of barriers of reinforced concrete along rivers whose water is inclined to spill.

Barriers of stone and other materials were erected in ancient times where the Tiber enters Rome; and in modern times, the Dutch keep out the sea, and contain rivers, with dykes.

2. Canals should be dug along rivers that are inclined to spill. If it is not feasible to dig canals adjacent to dangerous rivers. They should be dug, miles away, to divert streams into small artificial rivers.

3. Flood-parks ought to be dug, covering an area of 20-40 acres, to a depth of 20-40 feet — in other words, a flood reservoir, thereby, creating temporary drainage facilities.

4. Planning permission should not be granted to build ordinary buildings in low-laying areas. Houses that have been severely flooded ought to be demolished and rebuilt on stilts or with basements, constructed with reinforced concrete, tanked, and with small windows at five or six feet above the level of the pavement, with indoor descent, naturally.

5. Most, if not all, rivers should be widened and deepened.

In the short term, all of those schemes would cost huge sums of money, nevertheless this work would create much employment and eliminate much physical and mental stress and future financial losses.

Daniel MacCarron

Bray

Co Wicklow

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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