Council buys specialist pumps as first response to future floods

Donegal County Council has agreed to purchase two large trailer mounted pumps to deploy on a first call basis to any area under treat of flooding .

The initiative, which will cost €150,000 is being paid for by the council, with Cllr Patrick McGowan saying it's a cost which should be met by the government.

It's just over a year since the Twin Towns and Finn Valley experienced severe flooding, with estimated losses well in excess of a million euro.

Since then, Cllr Mc Gowan says there's been no government commitment to measures to prevent future flooding.

 

 

FC-2017-16040 Roads and Housing Capital Question 30 January 2017
"Has the Council any knowledge or information on Government Plans to prevent property being flooded in towns and villages along the River Finn, and can I have a copy of the Councils final response to the CFRAMS study?"
The Council does not, at this time, have any specific details on Government Plans to prevent property being flooded in towns and villages along the river Finn.  Below is an extract from the OPW's CFRAM Programme - North Western-Neagh Bann newsletter which provides some information on the way forward.

"Following the completion of the CFRAM programme, flood relief schemes, where appropriate, will be developed for areas of significant flood risk.  The process of bringing a scheme from concept to construction involves a number of key stages, some of which are requirements of environmental legislation, competition law or engineering best practice.  As a result, it is not uncommon for larger flood relief schemes to take a number of years to complete.  The government cannot fund all schemes at once; therefore these will be prioritised, resulting in a National Programme of Schemes, and implemented on a phased basis."

The OPW is currently at the end of Phase 1 (CFRAM Programme) at the Flood Risk Management Plans step.  Phase 2 (food relief scheme development) has yet to commence and the first step of this phase is the development of the National Programme of Schemes (as referred to above).  There are a number of steps in this phase prior to reaching the final phase of the process, Phase 3 (construction).

Further details in relation to this programme can be seem on the website "www.northwestcfram.ie".

Donegal County Council submitted a final response to the CFRAMS study and received response from the OPW, both of which are outlined below :

DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL SUBMISSION

The following comments are made in relation the Ballybofey – Stranorlar AFA within UoM1;

•        Preferred Option; Donegal County Council acknowledges the additional protections and measures that the preferred option (Option 3) for Ballybofey – Stranorlar will have for the Town.

•        Pluvial Flood Issue; At no stage does the report reflect a pluvial flood issue within the defended area of Ballybofey –Stranorlar. The most recent flood event caused severe damage to the town and it is reported that the floodwater did not overtop the embankments defending the town. The flooding within the defended area was a combination of heavy rainfall, high flows within the channel around the town and drainage outfalls restricted due to the high level of water within the channel.
It is acknowledged that the report does in its conclusion make reference to the interaction between drainage and flood defences being addressed during the development of the preferred option but Ballybofey - Stranorlar preferred option has a BCR of 1.6 and it is unclear how the scheme will be prioritised against AFA’s nationwide. Donegal County Council would recommend the issue is acknowledged and the conclusion be amended to reflect a shorter timeframe for a solution to the flood problem within the defended area.

•        Maintenance of Embankments; The maintenance of the existing embankments is a cause of concern and businesses and the community in Ballybofey Stranorlar area have commented on this issue. It is acknowledged within the conclusion of the Flood Risk Management Plan that additional maintenance regimes will need to be in place to ensure existing hard defences are maintained to the required standard of protection and at present no organisation has overall responsibility for ensuring that the defences are maintained to the required standard of protection.
Donegal County Council recommends that OPW take charge of the embankments around Ballybofey - Stranorlar as part of any maintenance regime going forward. The OPW have a long history of maintaining such structures under existing Arterial Drainage Schemes in Donegal and are best placed to implement a maintenance regime for the embankments in the Town of Ballybofey Stranorlar.

OPW RESPONSE

Thank you for your observations and comments on the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) draft plans. These will be considered by the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland and our engineering consultants when finalising the plans. All submissions are referenced, logged and available to inform finalisation of CFRAM Draft Flood Plans.

The following comments are made in relation the Ballybofey – Stranorlar AFA within UoM1;

•        Preferred Option; Donegal County Council acknowledges the additional protections and measures that the preferred option (Option 3) for Ballybofey – Stranorlar will have for the Town.

•        Pluvial Flood Issue; At no stage does the report reflect a pluvial flood issue within the defended area of Ballybofey –Stranorlar. The most recent flood event caused severe damage to the town and it is reported that the floodwater did not overtop the embankments defending the town. The flooding within the defended area was a combination of heavy rainfall, high flows within the channel around the town and drainage outfalls restricted due to the high level of water within the channel.
It is acknowledged that the report does in its conclusion make reference to the interaction between drainage and flood defences being addressed during the development of the preferred option but Ballybofey - Stranorlar preferred option has a BCR of 1.6 and it is unclear how the scheme will be prioritised against AFA’s nationwide. Donegal County Council would recommend the issue is acknowledged and the conclusion be amended to reflect a shorter timeframe for a solution to the flood problem within the defended area.

•        Maintenance of Embankments; The maintenance of the existing embankments is a cause of concern and businesses and the community in Ballybofey Stranorlar area have commented on this issue. It is acknowledged within the conclusion of the Flood Risk Management Plan that additional maintenance regimes will need to be in place to ensure existing hard defences are maintained to the required standard of protection and at present no organisation has overall responsibility for ensuring that the defences are maintained to the required standard of protection.
Donegal County Council recommends that OPW take charge of the embankments around Ballybofey - Stranorlar as part of any maintenance regime going forward. The OPW have a long history of maintaining such structures under existing Arterial Drainage Schemes in Donegal and are best placed to implement a maintenance regime for the embankments in the Town of Ballybofey Stranorlar.

OPW RESPONSE

Thank you for your observations and comments on the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) draft plans. These will be considered by the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland and our engineering consultants when finalising the plans. All submissions are referenced, logged and available to inform finalisation of CFRAM Draft Flood Plans.