Flooding at Killeenmore in February. Picture: Tony Keane
Residents living in a flood prone area near Sallins are demanding that remedial action to alleviate the problem proceed as quickly as possible.
They live in Killeenmore which is adjacent to the River Morell, which flows into the nearby Liffey and the Grand Canal.
Recent prolonged torrential rainfall saw roads and property flooded and some residents had to cope with knee high flood levels.
“We had three weekends when part of the area resembled a river. I had to park my car 400 yards away from home because it was impossible to drive through. There are proposals to deal with the problem but little has happened yet and this is going on for over 20 years now,” said Cathy Reilly.
She added: “I hope we’re getting close to a solution; apart from the water itself there is an amount of debris and litter washed up and left behind when it happens.”
Residents believe that roadworks in the vicinity of the N7 for some time have contributed to the problem as have more recent residential development in the surrounding area.
Another resident said the area is “the first place in Ireland to flood” adding ”we were flooded recently before the River Shannon rose a millilitre.”
He criticises the delay in finding a solution and suggested that communities experiencing flooding in Ireland can expect to wait a long time before it’s resolved.
He said the River Morell cannot cope with the runoff in times of heavy rainfall.
“It could take three years to put in the infrastructure and with the advent of climate change this problem will only get worse.”
However, local councillor Fintan Brett said that infrastructural work could start “in a couple of months” once the final details on the project are agreed.
“I’m told this is imminent though it hasn’t been signed off yet,” he said.
Kildare County Council has acknowledged the problem and the answer is the Morell flood relief scheme.
KCC and the Office of Public Works has developed an €11 million project to protect homes and businesses from flooding.
According to KCC the scheme is being designed to provide maximum protection for people and their homes while at the same time having minimal impact on the existing environment.
The issue affects some 60 households as well as agricultural land, businesses, a golf course, local roads and the N7 junction at Castlewarden.
Apart from this year flooding has taken place in 2000, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The infrastructural work entails the construction or restoration of over 9,000 metres of sloped embankment and the construction of up to 480 metres of flood walls to direct the flood water away from high risk areas.
Two streams will be realigned and up to eleven culverts will be altered or upgraded.