A man whose home was marooned by flood waters for more than a week has pleaded with engineers to hold off on major road works amid fears it could make the problem worse.
Miley Cotter said he has concerns that the fast-tracking of plans to raise the level of a prone section of the still-flooded N25 Cork to Waterford road outside his home, in some places by up to 1m, will put his family home at further risk of severe flooding.
“I can understand the need to reopen the road but if they go ahead with this in the next few weeks, I might as well lock the door and leave. They’ve told me not to worry; they’ve said they’ll look after me but I have nothing in writing. I need time for my own engineers to examine this proposal,” Mr Cotter said.
After days of unprecedented rain, water from turloughs just outside Castlemartyr in East Cork rose up through the groundrock last week, flooding the surrounding landscape. Mr Cotter’s family home in Clasharince, a mile west of Castlemartyr, was marooned by the sea of water which poured out.
The severe flooding forced the closure of a key stretch of the N25 for over a week and the implementation of traffic detours since last Friday. Despite five days of constant pumping using industrial pumps provided by Philips 66 (Whitegate Refinery), the road remained closed last night. Cork County Council said it hopes to reopen the road over the weekend.
The water has finally receded from Mr Cotter’s home, but is still lapping at his gate. He spent yesterday assessing the extent of the damage. “Everything is destroyed — wardrobes, the kitchen, everything. The water was over a foot and a half deep in here for over a week. As well as the flood water, there was diesel, silt, the contents of septic tanks — it’s disgusting,” he said.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) confirmed earlier this week that it will fund proposals to raise this vulnerable section of the N25, with the county council given clearance to begin the preliminary works within days.
But Mr Cotter, whose family are staying in the Castlemartyr resort, urged the consideration of other flood alleviation options, such as a retaining wall along nearby fields, and the clearing of silt and vegetation from cave entrances to allow flood waters escape.
Meanwhile, the boil water notice imposed on the Whitegate Regional Water Supply on January 1, and which affected some 10,000 people, was finally lifted yesterday. Irish Water said following advice from the HSE, residents in the area can now resume normal use of the water supply for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth. “The boil water notice was imposed as a pre-cautionary measure following the recent poor weather conditions but ongoing testing and monitoring of the supply over the last week has shown that it is now safe for public consumption,” a spokeswoman said.
Separately, the R613 Ballea Road in Carrigaline has reopened, and the county council said it will be carrying out an emergency closure of the R618, from Leemount Junction to Inniscarra Bar, between 10am and 3pm on Monday to facilitate the replacement of a collapsed small stone culvert with a 15in pipe. The blockage is causing ongoing flooding problems and damage to private property.
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