Clonmel’s multi-million euro flood defence scheme moves to next stage

The mountable barriers on the flood defence walls in Clonmel that were erected this week in anticipation of rising water levels in the river Suir.
Clonmel has moved to the next stage in its elaborate flood defence scheme.

Clonmel has moved to the next stage in its elaborate flood defence scheme.

As cities and towns throughout the region are devastated by raging floods, the town most noted for its flooding in recent times remains relatively dry.

The flood defense scheme, involving walls along the length of the river Suir through the town centre and berms on the town fringes, have worked in preventing the river bursting its banks in build-up areas.

Now the local authority has moved to a further stage by putting mountable barriers on top of the walls to improve protection.

This follows the warning that rivers are expected to rise over coming days.

While no one wants to tempt fate by claiming that Clonmel will totally escape the floods, the multi-million Euro defence scheme has worked well.

A number of small snags have caused flooding along the quays but nothing compared to the bad floods in the town’s past. One bridge has also been closed to traffic.

However it is reported that only one town centre home has been damaged by rising water and the Borough Council moved to deal with that quickly,

Some other homes on the outskirts of town have been damaged but they are outside the flood defensive scheme.

An interesting feature of the flood scheme involved what’s called the ‘glass bridge’ over the Suir at Old Bridge.

The bridge has been blocked off at both ends by steel barriers and the glass side walls of the bridge have been lowered to all water flow over the bridge as well as under to relieve presssure and prevent floods elsewhere in the area.

In the past, homes in the Old Bridge area have suffered huge damage during the worst of the floods.

The mountable barriers on the walls that were erected on Thursday night have never been used in such conditions before.

A Borough Council spokesman said they had been erected before in trial runs but never when the river was in actual flood.

The people of Clonmel will join with him in hoping that they do the work that the walls have already done in keeping the river within its banks.