Flooding on the quay in Thomastown
Local councillors have expressed concerns that extreme weather events causing issues such as flooding are becoming an increasingly regular burden on communities and resources.
At the march meeting of the Kilkenny City Municipal District, Cllr Malcolm Noonan said that a lot of staff time and resources now seemed to be dedicated to dealing with weather events. He supported a suggestion by Cllr Andrew McGuinness for an emergency fund to be set up to help local communities.
“Look at the last five or six years what communities have had to deal with,” he said, noting that the flood relief schemes under CFRAM could be a long way off.
The Green Party councillor also asked about the possiblity of ‘support for small catchment projects, which he said might help to alleviate and prevent some flooding happening in the first place.
Cllr Breda Gardner said it had not been that long since the community centre in Thomastown had its new wooden floor fitted, and it had once again been left coping with water.
“It’s not just yearly now — it’s every few months,” she said.
Director of services Tim Butler said the amount of water that had arrived on the Tuesday had been unusual, in that generally there would be a good indication of how high the levels are from Borris-On-Ossory.
“In this instance, most of the rainfall was in Kilkenny itself,” he said.
It was not at the city bridge indicator but instead as far downriver as Mount Juliet that revealed a flood was on the way.
Sandbags were made available at the usual locations in preparation.
The council is currently awaiting word from the OPW in relation to Individual Property Protection (IPP) measures proposed as a pilot scheme for Graignamanagh and Thomastown. These will be less costly and realised more quickly than extensive flood relief schemes.
However, Mr Butler said there would be certain things a property owner would be required to do in the event of an imminent flood, and consideration needed to be given to a warning system or how people would be alerted.
“You have to be sure if you are putting in Individual Property Protection measures that everybody is on board to put them up,” he said.