The flooded N80 road in Irishtown Mountmellick. Photos: Denis Byrne
Flood defences to protect homes in Mountmellick and Portarlington will cost up to €8 million, the CEO of Laois County Council has stated.
Speaking to the Leinster Express on Monday January 29, John Mulholland explained the works.
“They will consist of embankments and flood defence walls, along the river and to defend parts of the towns,” he said.
Mr Mulholland said that in Mountmellick, the scheme may cost between €2 to €3 million, and in Portarlington it will cost €5 million.
The council is also considering the provision of flood defence equipment, such as 'flood gates' for up to 85 homes that are prone to flooding in the two towns, as a pilot project.
Cllr Paddy Bracken from Mountmellick estimated that such equipment costs €1,000 to €1,500.
Work done since the November 22 flood includes removal of branches and some dredging in rivers.
“That is only part of the reason, the problem is additional rainfall, and shallow gradients,” said John Mulholland.
He agreed that newer housing estates off Manor Road in Mountmellick were “probably” a factor.
“At that time, those developments were probably deemed ok, but unprecedented levels of flooding have turned the tables on previous data,” the council CEO said.
He spoke after the January council meeting, where had outlined new flood defence plans agreed with the Office of Public Works to protect both Laois towns.
So far the council estimates it has cost €209,000 to respond to and clean-up after the Mountmellick flood,
A further €133,100 to fix damage from Storm Ophelia will be recouped from the Department of Local Government.
Data from the recent floods will be included in new CFRAM flood maps of Laois, to guide future planning. Those maps are expected to be published in February.