Harris ‘will not rest’ until Bandon flood relief scheme in place

Town saw up to 50 businesses and residents flooded during Storm Desmond

looding in Bandon as a result of Storm Desmond. Photograph: Denis Boyle

looding in Bandon as a result of Storm Desmond. Photograph: Denis Boyle

 

The minister with responsibility for flood relief works said he will not rest until a €10 million flood relief scheme is delivered to the town which saw up to 50 businesses and residents flooded during Storm Desmond.

Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW, Simon Harris said that neither he nor the people of Bandon would rest until the scheme, which is due to commence next year with a completion date of 2018, is delivered for the West Cork town.

Mr Harris, who will visit Bandon on Monday where he will meet affected traders and residents, said he also wants to ensure there is better communication between the local authority and the townspeople so they know exactly what progress is being made on the project.

Meanwhile former Mayor of Bandon Seán O’ Donovan confirmed that Bandon escaped flooding this weekend as, although water from the Bandon did rise significantly and spill on to Bridge Street in the town, it did not flood any premises.

“The flood peaked around 3am on Sunday morning – there were about 30 of us watching the situation and water did come up the shores on to Bridge Street but thankfully it didn’t enter any premises and we avoided a repeat of the damage that was done last weekend,” he said.

In Skibbereen, Cork County Council staff, fire brigade personnel and the Civil Defence teamed up with members of the local flood committee to implement the Skibbereen Flood Response Plan after water levels in the Ilen river began to rise dramatically on Saturday night.

According to Niall Twomey of West Cork Civil Defence, water levels rose in the Ilen by two metres but the defence team of some 50 personnel put out sandbags and flood pumps were positioned at vulnerable points .

“The Ilen river peaked at 7.30pm on Saturday when water levels at Ballyhilty bridge 2kms upstream of the town hit over 8 metres - two metres higher than normal - but there was no major damage to businesses or properties reported and the flood response activities were stood down at 9.30pm.”

Elsewhere in Cork, the ESB eased back discharge rates from the Inniscarra dam upstream of Cork city to 150 cubic metres per second after upping discharge levels last week to 180 cubic metres per second to accommodate increased run off in the Lee catchment area.