Major North Tipp flooding problem could take years to resolve
A MAJOR flooding problem near the village of Carrigahorig has been a problem for several years but could take several more years to resolve, a local councilor warned this week.
Councilor Michael O’Meara told the Tribune that the flooding was occurring in an environmentally sensitive area, which means any improvement work must go through a number of stages before being permitted.
Flooding is severe when it occurs. It occurs at the junction of the N65 from Portumna to Borrisokane and the road to Lorrha. The junction is known locally as Lorrha Cross.
“There are two SACs on either side of the roadway,” Cllr O’Meara explained. “For this reason, we will need planning permission An Bord Pleanala before we can raise the level of the road. In other words, tackling this problem is beyond the competence of the Council. The authority rests with An Bord Pleanála and as the landscape is complicated there, it could take several years before something is done to fix the problem.
A recent Nenagh Municipal District meeting provided an update on the matter.
A utility manager told councilors that flooding of a short section of the N65 north of Carrigahorig occurs when Lough Derg rises significantly during severe flooding. “The most recent floods,” he said, “were in 2019, 2015/2016 and 2009.”
He said the Council “cannot carry out physical works to raise the level of the road at present due to a number of significant constraints and technical challenges in determining an appropriate solution/road scheme for prevent the road from being flooded.The main issue here is that there are two Natura 2000 sites (Lough Derg, North East Shore SAC and Lough Derg (Shannon) SPA) located immediately adjacent to the proposed project.The Natura 2000 sites are Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) designated under the Habitats Directive and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated under the Wild Birds Directive (79/409/EEC).
The service manager added that the road there is also built on soft peat soil.
“Due to its proximity to the two Natura 2000 sites,” he continued, “any major work to raise the level of the road there requires planning permission from An Bord Pleanála.”
He said that preparations for a planning submission to An Bord Pleanála are underway and that due to the significant environmental and ecological sensitivities, several studies have been carried out and completed to date by the Council to determine the risks of flooding, ecological, environmental and other impacts/constraints, and an initial assessment of ground conditions was carried out.
Once planning consent is obtained, Council will complete the detailed design process.
“A field survey has now been completed and the program has been officially classified as a minor improvement program. The Council has now received approval from TII to appoint a consultant to proceed with the preliminary design.
During a number of floods, including in 2015 and 2019, daredevils water-skied and jet-skied on floodwaters and posted their escapades on social media, which later went viral .
The issue has been raised repeatedly at local authority meetings for several years but still nothing has been done.