Dredging several kilometres of the River Erne around the Cavan Town Urban area, along with parts of the Annagh Lee, could cost as much as €85 million, according to the latest draft instalment of the ongoing National Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) study. The sum equals the entire sum allocated to councils nationwide by the Department of Transport for road repairs following recent winter storms. By contrast, the cost benefit for carrying out such work locally is estimated at just €4.4m, the study suggests.
Despite being the preferred option of many landowners in the region, who claim the installation of urban defences would push flooding further onto rural plains, Aidan Harney of the Office of Public Works (OPW) states that such a scheme of work would be “more than cost prohibitive”.
The project manager for the North-West Neagh-Bann CFRAM study told The Anglo-Celt at last week’s public consultation in the Kilmore Hotel: “To dredge out the channel, any structures along the way then need to be underpinned. Really you’d have to start downstream and work all the way back up, otherwise you’re moving a problem from one area down and onto the next person’s land. We’ve costed it and it’s more than cost prohibitive. Taking in just the parts around Cavan, for a few kilometres including some of the Annagh Lee, you’re looking in the region of €80-85 million.”
Over 80 roads flooded, almost 20 homes were damaged and 113 more cut-off by the flooding, which hit the county last December-January.
See this week's Anglo-Celt newspaper for full report...