Ballinasloe braced for impact of flood waters

The water-filled aquadam flood defence barrier which has been provided at Sli na hAbhainn in Ballinasloe. Photo: Gerry Stronge.

Ballinasloe is braced for possible rising flood waters – after erecting an elaborate inflatable flood defence near the town centre.

Senior Executive Engineer Adrian Headd informed local residents and councillors that the Council were concerned about the possibility of rising flood waters into the weekend.

Earlier this week, Galway County Council erected a 300-yard long aquadam along Sli na hAbhainn towards the Council buildings – this is an area of the town centre which suffered considerable flooding two winters ago and back in 2009.

Mr Headd said that they were monitoring current water levels in both the River Shannon and the River Suck along with the predicted rainfall over the coming days.

He added that Galway County Council had made the decision to activate flood defence systems in Derrymullen, where around 100 houses were flooded back in 2009, and in Sli na hAbhainn – and that these systems will remain in place until further notice. Residents and local businesses in the area were also notified of the decision to put flood defences in place and warned that this would result in road closures as a precaution.

The aquadam has become something of an attraction in itself for locals. It is a water-filled dam that measures around 300 yards in length and is about 12 feet in width. It has the potential to prevent any possible flooding to local businesses and homes.

It was provided following the prolonged rainfall during the winter of 2015 and 2016 when several businesses were flooded around the town centre and some dwellings were left under threat.

A total of €120,000 was given to the town – around €100,000 of this was spent on the aquadam with the remainder on gullies and initiatives to relieve floodwaters from the streets.

Ballinasloe’s Cllr Michael Finnerty has complimented the Council for taking such precautionary measures. “There is no point in putting these flood defence measures in place when The Square is under two feet of water,” he said.