Bad News on Cabra East Flood Alleviation

In October 2011 a weather event described as ‘monster rain’ caused serious flooding all over the Cabra and Naven Road area. Numerous houses were flooded on the night. In the immediate aftermath of the flooding I met with the Dublin City Council engineers responsible for flood relief to discuss possible alleviation works. At the time I also had several meetings with affected residents. Following these meetings I organised a meeting between the engineers and a delegation of residents from the affected roads in Cabra and the Navan Road so that residents could voice their concerns directly.  

Since the flooding occurred I have been in constant contact with the engineers from Drainage department of Dublin City Council and some alleviation works have been undertaken in Cabra West and the Kinvara area of the Navan Road. The construction of swales on Glendhu green, Druncliffe green and Killala green are designed to accommodate the overflow of water from the oversubscribed drainage system during ‘monster rain’. The works have been partially successful so far and the Drainage department is continuing to resolve various outstanding issues with the swales. Before construction I was guaranteed that the amenity of the green space would not be lost to the residents after the installation of the swales and the engineers are satisfied that the proposed refinements will ensure that all green areas are usable when completed. We will have to wait for the next period of intensive rainfall to see if the engineers are correct.

While significant work has been undertaken in Cabra West and the Navan Road, Cabra East has only had some minor work carried out in respect of the flooding issue. The engineers from Drainage department had previously indicated that there were four possible options which would provide some flood alleviation in the Cabra East area.  Significant investigative work has already been undertaken by the Drainage department but unfortunately the outcome of the investigations has been disappointing. The latest report produced by DCC has concluded that all four options investigated are not viable for various reasons. The unacceptable conclusion suggests that the only option is for residents to provide suitable defences for the individual properties at risk of flooding. A copy of the report can be viewed Here

It is clear from my discussions with the council engineers that DCC have a limited budget to attempt to finance flood alleviation works and options requiring major investment were not investigated in this instance. I welcome the fact that DCC have spent significant time and resources investigating the problem but the implication of the report are that residents will have to continue to be at risk of flooding during extreme weather events.   
I believe a lack of willingness on the part of the Government to provide finance to DCC to resolve the flooding issue in Cabra East and West is unacceptable. The area has two Junior Government Ministers, Joe Costello & Paschal Donohoe, and they should be asked why the Government is refusing to provide finance for a proper drainage system in our area. Residents must continue to apply pressure on both the council and the Government to provide the necessary funding for a permanent solution to the flooding. The upcoming Local Elections provide an opportunity for residents to apply this pressure.