Three months after five homes were cut off by flooding residents in Ballycar Co Clare can again drive into their own driveways.
The homes, one of which had to be vacated, had been left inaccessible by road since the St Bridget’s Day storm on February 1st but water levels have now dropped considerably.
For more than 90 days, residents had to trek across fields and neighbours properties to reach a dry stretch of road. Locals had to park their cars some distance from their own homes depending on the goodwill of other neighbours to accommodate them.
The front garden of one house was designated as a helicopter landing site in the event of a medical emergency while fire fighting equipment was stored in another family’s garage so that fire crews would have prompt access in there was a blaze.
It was also the third time in less 6 years that locals in the area suffered similar problems as a result of flooding of Ballycar Lough.
Following serious flooding in 2009, the council marked the road with the intention of raising it above the flood lever however this work was not carried because of a lack of funding.
Clare County Council has again committed to resolving the problem of the road flooding a project it hopes to complete “as soon as possible”.
Council workers visited the area yesterday (Wednesday) and cleaned up debris left behind by flood waters. Some minor repairs were also carried out to the road which hasn’t seen traffic since February 1st.
A local authority spokesman said: “Once water levels in Ballycar drop back to the extent that we can examine the site fully with a view to collation of a solution, we will carry out such an assessment – I expect that this will be the case shortly.”
“The proposal, ultimately, will probably involve raising the road to a level which would facilitate access to all properties via public road in the event that such a flooding situation arises in future. Once the scope is defined, works will be scheduled for later this year (as soon as possible),” he said.
The council has also said it has secured an allocation from the Department of Transport to cover the cost of the works.
Local resident Brian Keogh said: “It’s a start anyway to see the road swept and some repairs carried out but the council has to step up this time and fulfil it’s commitment to sort this problem once and for all.”
“We don’t want to be left in the same situation next winter. It has gone on long enough now and it has to be sorted,” Mr Keogh said.