Last night's flooding in Clontarf

25 Oct 2011

Firstly, thank you for all of your public comments and private submissions following our update last Saturday.

We are gratified that the almost unanimous response was supportive of the CRA/CBA position.

Moving on to last night's flooding, we have received numerous comments, texts, tweets and facebook messages to the effect that the floods last night clearly confirm what we have all been saying from the start.

Clearly, a mound or wall would not have helped us in any way last night. In fact, it may well have stopped the promenade area from absorbing the weight of warter that it did absorb which had a positive effect on reducing the levels of water on certain parts of the Clontarf Road.

Last night was caused by factors including:

  • an unprecedented level of rainfall - almost 9cm in one day
  • generally, poor drain performance. Many were blocked by leaves and other debris.
  • large volumes of water travelling downhill along roads such as Vernon Ave, St Lawrence Rd, and Hollybrook Rd - with consequent large volumes of water accumulating at the bottom of these roads where drains couldn't cope

There was no sea water ingress last night, or no wave overtopping. In fact, there was no wave action of note.

Dublin City Council staff were in attendance in Clontarf last night and we will be asking that reports of the event are provided to the Engineering team responsible for the flood defence scheme.

We would stress that we are not meteorologists or engineers but we do believe that there is enough evidence here to suggest that a more holistic approach is taken to the general threat of flooding in Clontarf. By this we mean that a new consultation process takes place that looks at taking appropriate actions to deal with the separate but connected threats of sea water flooding and what would appear to be the more frequent threat from rainfall (pluvial) flooding. This process should include input from all stakeholders.

Last night illustrated a distinct lack of proportionality in the current plan. We believe that the defence plan against the sea water threat is beyond excessive, it overestimates the current threat and that it's crude in its design. While on the other hand, there is no plan in place, to our knowledge, that aims to protect us from flooding such as last night's. These plans might include better maintenance of existing drains but also the installation of storm drains. But this will of course need experts to investigate.

Note: We would also like to acknowledge the residents and business owners who braved the terrible weather last night to help clear drains, fill sandbags, direct traffic and do lots of other helpful stuff. It was a real community effort. Thanks also to the DCC staff, and the emergency services that also arrived to help in the worst affected areas. It was an incredibly difficult night that challenged all of the available resources.

By the way, if you have any photos, please send them on.