Friday 15 December 2017

Resident tells of extensive flooding despite €7 million flood relief scheme

The Caherlea area has been badly hit by flooding
The Caherlea area has been badly hit by flooding Credit:Twitter/@iklelee
The exterior of Leanne's parents house Credit:Twitter/@iklelee
Farmland in Caherlea is under several feet of water Credit:Twitter/@iklelee
The flood waters surround the perimeter of Leanne's parents house Credit:@iklelee

Sarah-Jane Murphy

A woman has told of widespread flooding in Caherlea, Galway despite the OPW spending €2.5 million on relief works following the 2009 floods.

Leanne Traynor (27), a primary school teacher at a special needs school, lives in Caherlea which is located between Claregalway and Carnmore.

She told that numerous delays meant that work on the flood relief scheme didn't get underway until far later than anticipated.

"The relief works did help a little but it would have been more beneficial if the project had begun at an earlier stage," she said.

Leanne said the scenes of destruction were reminiscent of the 'once in a lifetime' flooding that took place in the area in 2009.

She told how the army came to the aid of residents in the Montiagh area yesterday, when water levels reached dangerous heights. 

"The flood waters began to gather on Sunday night and had risen substantially by Monday morning.

"To be fair the OPW have been proactive, they came with flood pumps and sand bags on Tuesday.

"There was an appeal made to the public on Facebook and they came out in large numbers to help," she said.

Read More: School principal worried by encroaching floodwaters: 'Children’s safety and sewerage are major concerns'

Leanne estimated that the flood waters on the roads in Caherlea are at a depth of at least one foot.

"The Gardaí closed the main road yesterday as motorists were inadvertently sending water into houses that bordered the roadside," she said.

Leanne said there is currently 10.5 inches of water in her parent's garden and around three inches of water immediately outside the front and back door of the property.

"The farmland in the area is under five feet of water," she said.

Meanwhile there was traffic chaos in the area yesterday when the three main access roads to Claregalway were closed due to localised flooding.

Leanne recalled that in 2009 13 houses in Caherlea suffered extensive water damage due to flooding.

Thankfully the water has not yet made its way into any homes in the area on this occassion.

The Office of Public Works signed off on an environmental review for the Claregalway Flood Relief Scheme in early November 2015.
The process suffered lengthy delays due to new EU environmental laws which require impact statements to be carried out by the OPW ahead of such works.
The €7m Claregalway scheme was the first flood relief scheme nationwide that required approval under the new EU regulations.

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