Calls for dredging of Laois river as houses and school at risk of flooding says TD
A primary school, GAA pitch and over 20 houses are at risk of flooding if there is heavy rain in a Laois town according to a local TD.
Laois Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley is calling for works to be carried out at The Whitehorse River to solve the problem of flooding in Mountrath.
“As a native of the town I have witnessed severe flooding there every few years. Patrick Street and Stillbrook are particularly vulnerable and residents there have been affected badly.
"The Whitehorse River, which floods out into the adjoining areas of the town currently has a build-up of silt, with parts of the river channel closed over.
"A weir that is located adjacent to the Peoples Park is adding to the problem, as it is increasing water levels in the river by over a meter. Two of these weirs were constructed in the 1970s and one has since been removed.
"If we had rainfall levels similar to the winter of 2017/18, there is a huge risk of flooding and residents of Patrick Street and Stillbrook are again in difficulty.
"During periods of flooding those living in Stillbrook are unable to get in or out of the road to their homes. This also affects the Girls School which is located on Stillbrook Lane. The Peoples Park and playground have also been flooded on occasions.
"Difficulties were encountered in the past in getting dredging works done on this section of the Whitehorse due to objections from The National Parks and Wildlife Services. This must not be allowed to block any effort to carry out flood relief works in the future as the local residents must be given priority.
"I have again raised the need for flood relief works with Laois County Council and the Office of Public Works. The river channel needs to be dredged and cleared of all obstructions. I believe the remaining weir also needs to be removed as it serves no useful purpose and is just contributing to increasing water levels in the river. Action is now needed as the residents of this area have endured enough difficulties over many years’," he said.