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.

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