Floodwater is again causing a traffic hazard in the centre of Claregalway but it appears that nothing can be done until a system can be put in place to allow it to be treated and discharged into the Clare river.
Recent heavy rain has caused flooding in the centre of the village and is presenting a problem for motorists on the busy N17, a meeting of Galway County Council was told this week.
Local Councillor Jim Cuddy said the situation was an accident waiting to happen and he had witnessed a near head-on-collision there on Sunday as one motorist travelling in the Tuam direction veered out to avoid the flood and into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Cllr. Cuddy asked for immediate action on the issue as he fears that there will be many more such incidents if the problem is allowed continue.
There is disappointment in the area over the return of the flooding. It had been generally assumed that the recently completed works on the bridge would have solved most, if not all, local flooding problems.
The assumption was that surface water would flow freely into the Clare river and ducting would be in place to facilitate this.
But now it transpires that no piping is in place, and is not likely to be for some time, because of environmental concerns over the quality of the water.
Cllr Jim Cuddy called for common sense to prevail and urged the council to take whatever steps were necessary to remedy this situation.
He described it as a ridiculous situation that floodwater was left on a major route, to the great inconvenience of local residents.
“It’s as if nobody can make up their minds what to do about the flooding so they just ignore it in the hope it will simply go away. Do we have to wait until there is a fatal accident here before anyone sits up and takes a bit of notice. This problem is not going to go away because there is no mechanism in place to let it drain away, ” he told the Tuam Herald.
He told the County Council that the patience of the Claregalway people was growing quite thin and he was being inundated with calls from people complaining about the problem. Pedestrians were unable to walk through the village without fear of being saturated by floodwater splashed by passing vehicles.
He explained that it was his understanding that under normal circumstances the surface water would have run off into the Clare river. However, the traditional route for the run-off is now blocked and to reopen it will require special permission. Water running off a road is regarded as pollution, not rain water, and as such measures have to be put in place to treat it before it can be allowed enter the river.
“This should have all been sorted out during the bridge work. People are appalled that millions were spent on a flood relief project, which appears to be working well, yet just a few yards down the road there is a flooding problem, which is as bad as ever. This is crazy and needs action as it is making the County Council look very foolish indeed,” Cllr Cuddy concluded.