herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

24 areas of Dublin at high flood risk warns new report

Flood defences in Clontarf, hit by high waters last year
Flood defences in Clontarf, hit by high waters last year

A total of 24 areas of Dublin are at significant risk of flooding, unless there is investment to prevent the devastating storm damage that has hit the capital in the past.

The Office of Public Works has finalised a list of 300 towns and villages round the country at risk of flooding.

The list includes 24 areas of Dublin including Balbriggan, Baldonnel, Donabate, Dublin City, Lucan, Santry and Swords.

Office of Public Works Minister Simon Harris estimates a €1 billion investment is needed over the next decade to carry out all necessary works.

Since 2000 an estimated €700m has been paid out by insurance companies arising from eight major flooding events that ravaged parts of the country.

The Minister said the OPW has compiled a list of 300 areas at risk of flooding under the national CFRAM (Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management) program.

This list will be subject to a statutory public consultation starting in October.

It is the last step before finalising a National Flood Relief Plan, required under an EU Directive, which will define and prioritise long-terms measures to reduce and manage flood risk.

Under the Capital Plan, which runs until 2016, just €45 million a year is committed a year to flood relief.

Minister Harris is seeking a €100m a year commitment under the new Capital Plan which will run until 2020.

Devastation

The plan is being finalised and is to be published by the Government in September.

According to Minister Harris, recent events throughout the country have highlighted the devastation flooding can cause to people and their property.

Harris's office is keen to get as many local views as possible when the list goes to public consultation in October.

"The role played by community, business and agri organisations is important and will feed into the process." he said.

Minister Harris added that the significant economic benefits of flood schemes were beyond doubt.

He said €65m worth of damage was caused by the 2002 flooding in Dublin.

At the start of this year, there was a greater tidal event in Dublin than 2002 and the total damage was less than €100,000 because of remedial works.

"I am determined that these plans, through a whole of Government approach, will help people and communities be prepared and reduce the risk and impact of flooding."

Fifteen towns in Kildare also feature on the list.

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