Donegal County Council have issued an update on the flooding recovery in Inishowen.
The Council are continuing to assist families left homeless by the flood. 59 families have now registered with the Council as being displaced, with solutions being found for 45 of them.
There is a temporary closure of access to Fiver Fingers beach at Lagg, Malin, and this year’s Crana Fest is cancelled.
Over 600 complaints have been made along the 1,500km road network in Inishowen, with approximately 115 bridges being damaged by the flooding (a quarter of these bridges were completely destroyed). Diversions are not suitable for HGVs, and HGV drivers are being asked to use main roads. Also, the diversion at Thompsontown bridge on L-1781-6 Grainne’s Gap will not open until Wednesday evening 20th September.
The total repair costs have been estimated to be in the region of €15.3 million.
The HSE flooding helpline remains open for those feeling emotionally overwhelmed at the moment. To avail of this service you can call 074 91 67558 from 9am to 5pm.
For more detail on the aforementioned points, see below.
Temporary Closure of access to Five Fingers beach at Lagg, Malin
The access road to Five Finger Strand at Lagg was severely damaged in the flooding and had already suffered from coastal erosion in recent years. This has resulted in the temporary access being washed away altogether and the remaining access is unsafe for public use. (See picture above).
For this reason it is necessary to temporarily close off this access with immediate effect.
Donegal County Council recognises the importance of this wonderful beach for the local community and visitors alike and is examining alternative options for beach access in the short term. The area is recognised as being of Designated European importance and classified as a Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area and a National Heritage Area. The Council is actively engaging with local landowners and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and others to resolve the current access issue.
Crana Fest has been cancelled
The popular Buncrana based paddle event “Crana Fest” has been cancelled due to the aftermath of recent flood damage along the Crana River. Substantial damage was caused to the river and to Swan Park during last month’s devastating floods, and for this reason it would be unsafe to continue with the Crana Fest this year.
The Council is fully committed to continuing to work closely with the organisers to ensure that this popular event returns to the town next year.
The total repair cost for roads infrastructure in Donegal following the recent floods is estimated at €15.3m. This approximately breaks down as follows:
Inishowen MD – €13.45m
Letterkenny MD – €900k
Stranorlar MD – €700k
Donegal MD – €250k
Costs for other infrastructural damage, e.g. Housing, Community & Amenity Facilities, etc. are still being collated. Costs incurred during the initial response and subsequent clean-up are also being collated at present.
To date in excess of 600 issues have been identified on the 1500km road network in Inishowen and road users are being asked to continue to exercise extreme care when using these roads.
Donegal County Council’s Road Service is continuing to work to have the priority regional routes in Inishowen open as soon as possible and below is an update on the status of these roads:
· R240 at Riverside between Quigleys Point and Carndonagh is now open to single lane traffic. Motorists are asked to remember that there is a 20 tonne weight restriction on this road and for this reason it is not suitable for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) above this weight.
· R238 at Three Trees between Muff and Quigleys Point is now open to two way traffic.
· R244 at Craignahorna on the Mountain Road between Buncrana and Carndonagh remains closed. Work is continuing on repairing this road and a bespoke box culvert has been procured, ordered and is now being manufactured. It is expected that this road will be reopened in 4 weeks.
· The L-1781-6 Grainne’s Gap is now open with a small diversion at Thompsontown bridge. This bridge was due to open this afternoon but will not now open until Wednesday evening 20th September as the laying of the foundation was delayed due to recent excessive rainfall.
Local diversions not suitable for HGVs
Local diversions for these regional roads are not suitable for Heavy Goods Vehicles and the Council is asking that HGVs use the following alternative routes:
· Buncrana to Ballyliffin to Clonmany to Carndonagh route or
· Muff to Quigleys Point to Moville to Carndonagh route.
A number of rural roads across the peninsula have been closed due to damage caused during the floods and below is an update on the current status of these roads:
L-1891-2 – Eskaheen Road to chapel – remains closed.
L-1381-2 – Meendacalliagh/Evishbreedy: Illies to Glentoghter – now open.
L-53912 – Annagh – remains closed
L-7451-1 – Drumskillen Road – remains closed
L-7631-3 – Glenbridge Road – remains closed
L-7641-1 – Gortcormacan – remains closed and due to open on Friday 29th September.
L-7681-1 – Lowertown Road/Gortcormacan – remains closed.
L-7761-2 – Knowhead Road/Calfwarn – remains closed.
Bridges damaged by floods
Approximately 115 bridges have suffered flood damage and up to a quarter of these may have to be replaced. Council staff are dealing with these bridges on a priority basis and temporary repairs are taking place to allow access. However, it may take 6 to 12 months to arrange permanent replacements.
Swan Park remains closed to the public due to extensive damage caused by the recent floods. The park is unsafe and we are advising members of the public not to visit the park.
The Council’s Housing Service is continuing to provide support and assistance to those affected by the floods.
59 families have now registered with Donegal County Council as being displaced and at this stage, solutions been found for 45 families. In many of these cases, this is an interim solution until such times as they are in a position to move back to their home. Some have already moved to their new accommodation, and in other cases arrangements are being finalised or the Council is awaiting responses to offers made.
A number of cases do not require action at this time and the Council continues to work with all displaced households on a case by case basis to addressing their housing needs.
Experiencing flooding in your home or business can be very distressing. If you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed at the moment, call the dedicated HSE Helpline for Flooding on 074 91 67558 from 9am to 5pm on 07491 67558 or call the Samaritans at 116 123.
An information leaflet has been delivered to each home in Inishowen setting out information on supports and assistance available to those affected by flooding.
Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Support Scheme
Applications for financial assistance have been received by the Irish Red Cross and are currently being processed. This scheme is available for small businesses and community, voluntary and sporting bodies who do not have insurance in place. Application forms are available at www.redcross.ie.
Clean Up Assistance
Anyone who requires help with clean-ups or who need skips and/or dehumidifiers should contact Donegal County Council at 074 91 53900. This includes all areas in the county affected by the recent flooding including Raphoe, Rathmullan and Bundoran.
The Irish Red Cross has agreed to receive donations to help assist those affected by the recent floods. You can make a donation at www.redcross.ie/donate or by calling 1850 50 70 70.
Anyone affected by the recent floods can contact the Council by calling into our offices or by calling 074 91 53900 during opening hours or 074 91 72288 during out of hours.