Portarlington zoned as high flood risk

PORTARLINGTON has been zoned a high risk area for flooding by the State agency OPW, who are mapping the entire country in efforts to find and fix recurring flood problems.

PORTARLINGTON has been zoned a high risk area for flooding by the State agency OPW, who are mapping the entire country in efforts to find and fix recurring flood problems.

The Office of Public Works has found that the town on the River Barrow was judged the worst hit by recurrent floods in the county, with 13 danger areas identified, five of these, such as Botley Lane, zoned a 'code 2' risk.

Kieran Kehoe, SEO for Laois County Council reported the findings to a joint Laois/Offaly meeting in Portarlington, but confirmed to the Leinster Express that the problems are across the whole county.

Closely following is Portlaoise, with 12 floodzones noted, the worst of these identified at Harpur's Lane. Mountmellick was found to have six while many towns such as Abbeyleix and Mountrath have two at the most.

The 'high risk' category is judged on population size and proximity to "high risk activities" such as hospitals.

Mr Kehoe outlined the long term aims.

"The end game, when they have done detailed modelling, is a management plan, covering everything right down to minor works such as culverts."

This, he says, may include a cross-county warning system to alert that a flood is on the way upstream. He added however that works would depend on money being made available.

Results of the OPW's findings, including detailed local maps, can be seen on opw.ie