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Boating across flooded fields in Springfield, Clonlara in January 2016 . Photograph by Arthur Ellis

Families evacuated as flood waters threaten more Springfield homes

RESIDENTS in South-East Clare have been evacuated from their homes after rising flood waters cut off access to their dwellings.

Two families in Springfield, Clonlara, had to be assisted from their homes on Sunday as the road close to their homes is now impassable.

At least ten houses in the Springfield area are at risk of flooding following huge volumes of rainfall in recent weeks and a prediction of between 20 and 25 millimetres of rain on Sunday night.

More than 7,000 sandbags and pumping stations have been delivered to houses in the locality as part of a flood management plan being implemented by Clare County Council.

Residents are facing a very difficult battle as flood waters have risen by five and a half inches over a 12-hour period from 9am on Sunday.

It is estimated that flood waters were rising by half an inch on Sunday night.

Speaking to the Clare Champion, resident Geraldine Quinlivan was distraught as she and her family remained on “to fight for our home”.

Hearing water pumps running in a nearby house has brought the nightmare of previous flood events including the most recent one in 2015/2016 back again.

In addition to the provision of sandbags in the front of her house, her husband, Joe is constantly monitoring the increase in water levels to establish if additional protection measures are necessary to keep water from entering their dwelling.

She called on the four newly-elected Dáil deputies to take the necessary steps to ensure that residents in Springfield never face the threat of flooding again.

“My husband, Joe feels he is going straight to heaven because he is in hell at the moment. We will be battling day and night to keep water out.

“A new embankment for Spingfield has been in the pipeline for a number of years. But like all flood protection measures, it has to pass a cost benefit analysis. Springfield is not unique, this is the case across the country.

“The OPW and Clare County Council are working hard to get a solution but the embankment has to pass a cost benefit analysis. This cost benefit analysis doesn’t take into account the human cost and the misery that is caused to families by flooding.

“Legislation needs to be changed to increase the amount of water that is released from the Parteen Weir where only ten cubic metres per second is let down the old River Shannon. This goes back to an 1929 act, which is no longer fit for purpose,” she said.

Clare County Council’s crisis management team met on Friday and is constantly monitoring the situation concerning rising water levels at Springfield.

All necessary resources from the council and Civil Defence have been deployed to assist with managing the response to the rising water levels.

The council is in communication with the ESB, local residents and other stakeholders and have been monitoring the situation over the weekend.

Dan Danaher

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