A flood management plan has been initiated by Clare County Council for the area of Springfield in Clonlara.
Met Éireann has issued a status yellow rain weather warning for Co Clare with the forecaster predicting up to 25mm of rain will fall between Sunday night and Monday morning. Flood defences are now in place at Springfield with residents on red alert for the weekend, many of whom had to be evacuated from their homes four years ago due to flooding.
Today (Saturday), the ESB is releasing over 280 cubic metres of water a second through the Parteen Weir because of heavy water swells coming from the upper Shannon region. This flow is high, up from 245 cubic metres yesterday, and means houses and lands in the area could flood as a result. Ten houses have been given sandbags and pumping generators in an effort to keep the water from entering their homes.
Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting of the Physical Development Strategic Policy Committee (SPC), Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) sought an update from Clare County Council on what plans they had in place for the area.
Senior engineer John Leahy acknowledged, “There is an issue there”. He stated that the ESB were “releasing large amounts of water” as Ardnacrusha was “not able” for the water coming from the Midlands.
“We have activated our flood plan, we are making the preparations, we have mobilised the people, we are on high alert and are very concerned. There is a high risk of flooding, we don’t want to be alarmist but we are making preparations,” Leahy added. Cllr Cooney responded, “It is good to know preparations are being made before the event”.
More extensive cleaning of rivers was needed across the county, Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) maintained. “Torrential rain and longer periods of rain are going to become more common place but we are not getting an increase in dredging of rivers. We have had flooding in parts of Kilrush that have never been flooded and a lot of it is down to the fact that rivers are not being cleaned”.
In a statement to The Clare Echo on Friday, a spokesperson for Clare County Council outlined that a meeting of their crisis management team took place on Friday and “is constantly monitoring the situation with regard to rising water levels at Springfield Clonlara. All necessary resources from Clare County Council and the Civil Defence have been deployed to assist with managing the response to the rising water levels. In this regard Clare County Council is in communication with the ESB, local residents and other stakeholders and will continue to monitor the situation over the weekend”.