Lower end of Arklow worst hit
THE ARKLOW community held its breath on Friday evening as torrential rain fell without reprieve threatening homes and businesses with flooding.
The lower end of the town took the worst hit with Arklow Town Council left with no option but to close off certain areas including Lower Main Street, South Green, Worsborough Terrace and Tinahask.
Road closures came into effect from Curran's Corner onwards from around 7p.m. and council vehicles circled the town to distribute an estimated 700 sandbags to locals.
While this section of the road was reopened around 9p.m. council outdoor staff assisted by two contractors and jetter continued to patrol the town until 2a.m. on Saturday morning and returned at 6a.m. to commence cleanouts of any shores and gullies that became blocked during the floods.
In some parts of town such as Abbey Street flood waters lifted manholes and left cracks in the road surface which had to be cordoned off.
Regional roads at Behan's Garage (N11) and at Webbs Rover were also impassable and were manned by ATC staff.
Speaking to The Wicklow People Cllr. Pat Fitzgerald said that ‘a clear programme' was in place to try and combat the effects of the heavy rain.
‘ This region including Arklow has experienced 250 per cent more rainfall during the past month and there were preventative measures in place. Many of the shores and pipes had already been cleared out to prevent them becoming blocked. Thankfully the rain eased off at around 7p.m. on Friday which help matter,' he said.
Cllr. Fitzgerald however expressed disappointment with some motorists who insisted on driving up and down flooded streets which resulted in water being pushed closer to properties.
‘Of course some people had to get home and had choice but to travel those roads but others drove up and down at speed to look at what was happening. This did not help matters and only increased the risk of flooding to houses,' he said.
Acting Town Clerk Michael McNamara extended thanks to the outdoor staff whose work reduced danger to the public and property.
‘I urge anybody who got sand bags to keep them for future need. They can be stored outside as long as they are covered as sunlight degrades the woven plastic bags – wind or rain will not damage them. I would also urge drivers not to drive through flooded streets that are closed because this causes waves pushing water into people's homes that would otherwise escape flooding,' he said.
A winter scene at the Lower Lake at Glendalough.
There were scenes of heavy rainfall on the streets of Arklow after the torrential downpours during the past week.