Deluge triggers flash floods

Simon Brouder

The weather in recent days has been superb but torrential rain put a severe strain on parts of Tralee's waste water and flood defence network ahead of the mini heat wave that the town basked in late last week.

From around 5pm on Tuesday evening last week Tralee and much of Kerry was battered by a series of short but torrential rain storms.

While Killarney suffered the most - with several areas flooded and numerous manholes covers reportedly popped open the pressure of the water - Tralee too encountered flooding in several areas.

The worst affected area was the stretch between Austin Stack Park and the Horan Centre which was quickly covered by over a foot of flood water. Several houses were flooded and a number of businesses had to shut their doors and stack up sandbags to keep the water at bay.

Kerry County Council and the Tralee fire brigade were quickly on hand and worked diligently to alleviate the flooding which thankfully soon receded.

Flooding was also experienced in the Ballymullen area and at Ivy Terrace where overwhelmed drains led to localised floods. These too receded quickly but homeowners and businesses had to take emergency action to prevent damage to their properties.

The flooding has been blamed on the sheer amount of rain that fell in such a short period.

While most drains and flood defences have been cleared of any blockages recently the amount of rain that fell quickly overwhelmed many of them.

One council worker that helped deal with the flood said that if the same amount of rain had fallen over an hour rather than in 20 minutes the system should easily have been able to cope with it.

"It was like dumping a gallon drum of water straight into a pint glass," he said.

"The water just had nowhere to go and in that short time there was very little that could be done to stop flooding. At least the damage was minimal."