LIKE most of the county's coastline, the powerful storms of the past week have caused unprecedented damage to the seaside village of Ballyheigue.
Local councillor John Brassil warned that the town is in the midst of an emergency situation, with progressive weakening of the coastline being experienced over the past few days. He told a meeting of the local authority on Monday that the damage caused by the storm is far more extensive than any previously experienced and that a number of houses are now in danger of being flooded. Had it not been for sandbags that were distributed to locals in advance of the storm, the damage would have been far worse he said.
The local sea rescue boat is also stranded at Dromatur Pier by debris, he said, and needs urgent attention.
Cllr Brassil said the sea wall was knocked in the St Stephen's night storm and the rubble left behind was strewn on the beach over the following few days amid further gales. The high tides and powerful gusts in the past few days also saw debris scattered across the beachfront.
Cllr Brassil said that a 'lake' has now appeared in the sand dunes, such was the height of the incoming waves, and described the debris left behind the seafront as 'frightening'
"What we're dealing with here is an emergency situation, particularly for the coastal areas," he said. "There's a lake of water in the middle of 40-50 metre sand dunes, which has never been seen before. I walked down Sandhill Road at the weekend and there are 100-metre sand dunes covered in debris. It's frightening."
Cllr Brassil added that the Ballyheigue sea rescue boat is also completely blocked in by rocks and boulders and urged the council to address the issue urgently.
Meanwhile, Kerry County Council was forced to close the car park at Banna Beach on Friday after it was engulfed by stones, seaweed and debris thrown up by the high waves that battered the area.