Thursday, September 27, 2018

FLOOD barriers for the front doors of homes and businesses hit by last winter’s floods in Mountmellick will cost €600 each – and owners will have to pay half the cost.

Laois County Council director of services Donal Brennan gave the news to the latest meeting of Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick last week, as the area braces itself for the coming winter.

Mr Brennan confirmed for cllr James Kelly that funding is in place to install barriers for the front doors of houses and properties that were affected by the devastating floods of last November. Mr Brennan said barriers will cost €600 per door and the county council will subsidise them to the tune of €300 each.

A full list of river and drain maintenance works carried out in the area was given to the meeting by senior engineer Paul McLoughlin, who is project manager for the overall €3.1m flood relief works aimed at preventing a repeat of last winter’s unprecedented flooding. The list, which was provided in response to a request from cllr Paddy Bracken, outlines the following completed or planned works:

● Irishtown bridge on the N80 has had silt and vegetation removed from the eye of the bridge, improving capacity and conveyance in the channel

● At the Convent bridge on the R422, the third eye has been cleaned and both the upstream and downstream approaches have had vegetation and silt build-up removed

● Works are ongoing on the Owenass river between the Irishtown and Convent bridges, which includes clearing vegetation and silt deposits above the current low water level. Tree/limb cutting began last week, so as to remove impediments in the channel. Once vegetation is cleared, bank repairs will be necessary where slippages that have occurred become evident. Repairs will be undertaken as required

● The riverbank has been repaired and trees/obstructions removed on the River Owenass at the Basin

● The Clontygar stream, along with a number of feeder drains/streams to the Owenass river and Barrow, has been cleaned with further works planned throughout the remainder of September

● Vegetation and tree removal has been done for several kilometres along the banks of the river Barrow through Cloncannon

● Works undertaken in Clonaheen involve tree cutting and vegetation removal in the channel on the Murglash river

● Maintenance has started on the Pound river to remove vegetation/silting and improve conveyance

● At Skerry, the riverbank was repaired, rock armour was placed and alignment of the river was improved. A scouring issue at the bridge has been repaired and parapet walls repaired/rebuilt

● In Rathcoffey, there was bank reinstatement and alignment improvement on the River Barrow. Further removal of river gravel and bank reinstatement/abutment protection is required urgently

● In Clonaslee, river cleaning is planned on the river Clodiagh to remove/disperse deposits of river gravel at the bridge and improve conveyance in the channel. This work is awaiting the consent of Inland Fisheries.

There is no timeline as yet for building the OPW’s €3.1 million of flood defences in Mountmellick, but similar schemes in other places have taken up to five years to construct. According to Mr McLoughlin, definitive programme dates will be provided after a consultant is appointed to the works.

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By Carmel Hayes
Contact Newsdesk: +353 57 86 70216

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