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Storm grate installation may not prevent another flood at Cutting

September 3rd, 2020 1:15 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Taoiseach Micheál Martin looking at the new storm grate. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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WHY was a collection grid – that was designed to prevent flooding – installed at The Cutting in Skibbereen on Thursday and not Wednesday, the day before Bridge St flooded?

That’s the question on everyone’s lips, following the flooding of 11 properties at Bridge St and Cork Rd, after more than 40mm of rain fell over a two-hour period on Wednesday night.

The grid – a large, durable grill that covers the surface of a collection tank or sump – is designed to prevent branches and boulders carried by the force of surface water pouring down a hill from blocking the storm drain below.

Cork County Council issued a statement saying that Covid-19 had led to a delay in having the prefabricated grid put in place as part of a system that is designed to collect, and channel, run-off in an area that is hugely problematic in terms of surface water flooding. On Monday, Council officials, community and public representatives met at The Cutting to assess the sump and some of those present expressed their concern that the work that has been done to date is not the ultimate solution. Cork County Council has responsibility for dealing with this particular surface water problem and it has, as part of the solution, sought to remedy the problem by increasing the size of the above ground sump. However, those present noted an 18-inch drain that leads to a big storm sewer – installed about 20 years ago – appears to have been coated in sand and silt.

While it is accepted that the grid could stop the large debris from blocking the drain, the fear being expressed locally is that smaller particles – including sand and silt – could ultimately block the 18-inch drain and cause further flooding. Locals believe that the repeat of the November 2018 flooding at Bridge Street, last Wednesday night, could force the Council’s design team back to the drawing board.

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