Height of the Mountmellick floods. Picture: Kevin Byrne
Last Thursday, November 22 marked one year since hundreds of people in Mountmellick were devastated by the worst flood in living memory.
One year on, the promised multi million flood defences are still in the early planning and analysis stages and less than half the number of home flood barriers that were grant aid approved have been delivered.
The flood is engraved into the minds of people from Mountmellick and surrounding areas after water rushed through the doors of their homes and businesses, invading their lives and causing millions worth of damage.
There has been 50 applications from property owners for flood barriers with 114 barriers approved for grant aid.
So far, less than half (54) of the grant aid approved barriers have been delivered to homes. The barriers are not a permanent fixture, they are stored by the property owner until they are needed when they can be quickly deployed for use.
Mr Paul McLoughlin, Senior Engineer at Laois County Council was appointed to manage the €3.2 million flood relief scheme in Mountmellick and €5.6 million scheme in Portarlington.
In the latest update, Mr McLoughlin said it is still in the planning stages with the Office of Public Works (OPW) as they review the appointment of consultants.
“The Draft Brief for the appointment of consultants for the Mountmellick scheme is currently with the OPW for review before going to the framework of consultants for tender. This will lead to the appointment of consultants for the project level development of this scheme,” he said.
Once the consultant is appointed the next action will be a detailed analysis of the flood event on November 22 to gain a greater understanding of the flood to help with the development of a detailed scheme to protect at risk properties.
There will be many steps in the overall process for the Flood Relief Scheme for Mountmellick including but not limited to information gathering, surveys and assessments, hydraulic modeling works, development of options and designs, public consultation, acquisition of land (if required), planning consent/approval process, finaldesign,procurement/tendering and then construction, handover and maintenance.