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Friday 29 August 2014

Clontarf flood wall is back on agenda after €57m storm

DAMAGE: Councils facing massive clean-up costs

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

Published 11/01/2014 | 18:28

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The early morning scene in Clontarf this morning after the Flood Waters have receeded
Clontarf this week after the flood waters receeded

THE controversial Clontarf flood defence wall is back on the cards after Dublin City Council bosses warned that homes and businesses face the prospect of "very extensive flooding".

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A report by senior management, seen by the Herald, details how Clontarf was one of the worst hit locations in the capital during the storm.

The council estimates that it will be forced to pay out €100,000 to repair the damage caused on January 3.

Clontarf, Sandymount and parts of the quays were particularly affected, according to City Engineer Michael Phillips.

He warned that the council has been left with no option but to consider "strengthening flood defences at a number of locations" across the capital.

He singled out Clontarf and warned that the area could be hit by "very extensive flooding" unless measures are taken.

Sandbags placed outside homes and businesses in Clontarf prevented almost certain flooding, the report says.

"In light of the experience gained...consideration will be given to strengthening flood defences at a number of locations and especially along the Clontarf Road between Alfie Byrne Road and the Bull Island bridge," Mr Phillips wrote.

"While the temporary flood defence measures proved effective on this occasion, it would be foolish to believe that this is a sustainable solution.

"At some stage either our predictions regarding the tidal height will be proved wrong or the temporary measures will be overcome by a combination of high tide, low pressure, wind speed/direction and rainfall with the result that there will be very extensive flooding in the Clontarf area."

Residents and businesses are concerned that the height chosen for the wall could obstruct people's view of the promenade.

Councils are continuing to count the cost of Superstorm Christine. Clare County Council estimates €23.7m as the final damage while Kerry County Council put the figure at €3.5m but says it will need an extra €16m for coastal protection works.

It will cost approximately €7m to rectify storm damage in Waterford. Cork County Council has estimated its damage to be in the region of €5m. All in all the recent bad weather could set councils back almost €57m.

Meanwhile, in Lahinch, Co Clare, a group of about 100 volunteers has cleaned up debris from the promenade ensuring its accessibility to the public.

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