DAM BUILDERS SAVE THE DAY
The second flood to hit Fermoy in the space of two months did not have as much impact this week as initially feared, writes Antonia Zane.
This was due mainly to embankments that were constructed by county council workers and Carrilion Irish Enco (the contractors engaged by the OPW to carry out the flood relief scheme) throughout Tuesday night to contain the raging flood and man the pumps that were employed to drain the water.
An imminent flood alert was issued on Tuesday night due to melting snow and persistent heavy rain. This came just a matter of two months or so since the last flood brought the town to its knees. Businesses and residents in the flood prone areas prepared for the worst yet again. The council distributed sandbags, and furniture and appliances were shifted to higher ground.
With the flood warning in place for Tuesday night the OPW contractors for the flood relief scheme, Carillion Irish Enco, and council workers started work on the half dozen two metre high earth embankments designed to contain the flood water.
The employees concerned were hard at work throughout the night until the Blackwater burst its banks at around 5am on Wednesday morning.
Although flooding occurred in some areas of the town, Brian Boru Square, Ashe Quay, Mill Street, Tallow road and O’Neill Crawley Quay, the embankments contained the water effectively, and some areas that flooded in November were spared this time around. Residents in Francis Street and Thomas Street had no flooding this time around and a possible tragedy has been averted.
Meanwhile, however, business premises in Brian Boru Square again bore the brunt of the flooding, although not as severely as two months ago. Traffic was also diverted from the Tallow road, which was badly affected. The waters were thought to have peaked at around 9.30am on Wednesday morning and were expected to recede within 6-8 hours.
“The emergency work has been successful so far and we’ll maintain it until the flooding is gone,” Ger Barry of the OPW told The Avondhu.
Flan Groarke, senior executive engineer with Cork County Council, added that the current flood was about one foot lower than the November 19 incident.
Fermoy Mayor Noel McCarthy praised the work of everyone on the site, “I’d like to say thanks to all those who worked so hard. They have done a great job.”
In praising the efforts of all those involved, Cllr John Murphy said that extra funding for the effort had been secured at around 7pm on Tuesday night.
Thursday 14th January 5:53pm