OPW says Ring floods ‘not linked’ to €29m scheme

January 11th, 2022 11:45 AM

By Emma Connolly

Recent flooding on the Ring road near Clonakilty, despite multi-million euro flood defence work being completed. (Photo: Peter Walsh)

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THE OPW has denied that last week’s flooding at the Ring road in Clonakilty had anything to do with a flaw in the town’s €29m flood relief scheme.

As recently as last Thursday, the stretch of road on the edge of the town was on the verge of becoming impassable after just a few hours of persistent rain.

Cork South West TD Christopher O’Sullivan has described the situation as ‘particularly disappointing’.

‘In general the scheme has been a resounding success for the vast majority of the town. For 99% of areas it is working perfectly, but it’s very disappointing that in this one particular spot, at the Faxbridge roundabout which is repeatedly flooded, there’s a problem,’ Deputy O’Sullivan said.

‘It appears that water that flows down from the Old Timoleague Road is just not able to get into the bay and that’s causing the problem. There’s also a stream on Convent Hill that could be part of the problem as well,’ he said.

‘It’s not good enough that the scheme isn’t functioning as it should be. I’ll continue to put pressure on the OPW,’ he said.

However the OPW denied this and said the surface water issues at this location are ‘ultimately a road/surface drainage issue and did not fall within the scope of the flood relief scheme.’

‘There are pre-existing capacity issues in the surface water drainage line on the Old Timoleague Road.  This pipe crosses Ring Road and outfalls at Deasy’s Quay.  In spring tides combined with weather conditions – heavy rain, wind strength and direction, and low pressure – drainage from this pipe is limited for a time around high tide time, and water collects at the junction with Ring Road.  Following the construction of the flood defence wall at Deasy’s Quay, the open outlet for the collected water was cut off, and the existing pipe outlet, which was incorporated into the flood wall, did not accommodate for this water.  The OPW and Cork County Council are working together to develop the best approach to address this issue at this location.  The OPW remains available to further discuss the means of resolving this with the Council,’ a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said a report on the flooding of last Thursday is awaited.

The €29.8m scheme, designed to protect 296 properties, was completed last April after three years of works.

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