Following almost 36 hours of torrential rainfall over the weekend, many Longford residents and businesses have had to deal with localised spot flooding.
Kathleen Mooney, a resident of Drumnahara, Ballinalee, required sand bags to keep flood water at bay and she has issued a plea to the OPW to provide urgent funding to carry out drainage works in the county.
Kathleen, who first moved to the area over ten years ago, told the Leader that the area surrounding her property began to flood early on Saturday morning,August 10.
The back garden of Ms Mooney’s property, which has a brook running to the rear that flows into the River Camlin, became submerged in water after the brook burst its banks.
Kathleen says the situation was extremely stressful and told the Leader that flooding has been an ongoing issue on her property, an issue she has repeatedly highlighted to Longford county council (LCC) and the OPW over the past seven years.
Kathleen explained: “It has been an ongoing problem since I moved in really and it has just gotten worse and worse.”
With warnings pre-weekend of heavy rainfall and after previous experiences, Kathleen had no alternative but to contact LCC to put preventative measures in place.
This led to members of LCC delivering a consignment of sand bags to Kathleen to help keep waters at bay, something they had to repeat again on Saturday afternoon.
“I actually rang the council before the heavy rain started, which is probably why I got away so lightly,” Kathleen said.
“They came out with sandbags before the heavy rain started, so I was lucky in that sense as it then started getting really bad.”
After this, water levels continued to rise at a rapid rate and soon the road to the front of Kathleen’s property became flooded with water, meaning she had to get in touch with LCC yet again.
“After the sandbags were brought in I felt sort of relaxed at the situation, but the next thing I looked out the window and the front garden was full with water.
“It was all coming in from the road. I was getting attacked from both sides.”
Kathleen says she is thankful for the help and support provided by Longford county council and Gary Brady, Environmental Awareness Officer, Longford County Council, during her turmoil.
She said: “A great big thank you to Gary Brady and to the council workers who came out on Saturday with the sand bags.
“Gary Brady has been great. He even came out on his day-off on Saturday when it started flooding from the road.
“Without them, it would have been a totally different outcome. The house would have been flooded.
“Garyhas told me that it is all down to funding and that they are waiting for funding from the OPW.”
The waters finally began to subside on Kathleen's property early on Sunday morning, August 11, allowing her to get back to normal. Her worries, however, are never too far away, especially with winter forthcoming and she says she is constantly looking over her shoulder.
She said to the Leader: “It is very worrying. I used to work as a care worker going into people’s houses, and anytime it started raining I was always in a rush to get back home.
“So everytime it rained heavily, my mind wasn’t fully on the job.
“Every winter that’s what it is like. As soon as the heavy rain comes, I have to rush back to see if I am flooded.
“I used to have livestock and chickens out the back of the house. There is no way I could have chickens and livestock out there now, because it just gets flooded too often.
“It is causing a lot of stress,” she admitted.
Kathleen told the Leader that all that is required to help alleviate the risk of future spot flooding in the area, is a cleaning of the river. She called on the OPW to issue funding needed without delay to prevent future flooding incidences.
“I have enough grey hairs on my head because of it all, I don’t want any more,” said Kathleen.
“Please get this done. I have been waiting long enough,” She added.
These calls were reiterated by Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Micheál Carrigy, who called for the immediate provision of funding to LCC to carry out drainage works on a number of tributary rivers of the River Camlin, which were the cause of flooding over the weekend.
He then issued calls for further funding to carry out drainage works on the River Camlin itself. Cllr Carrigy also confirmed that an application for funding for works on the river was made over nine months ago.