Residents of a row of private houses in the townlands of Monadrishane and Ballinacarriga in Kilworth were battling floodwaters again this week – the ninth time they’ve been flooded since July 2012.
Even as they worked this week to create channels and open drains where possible to take the pooled water away from their homes, they were fearful of the further heavy rain forecast over the new year period.
The floodwater got into the home of one family previously and warped their wooden flooring. They’ve had to block up low lying vents which in turn has caused dry rot, they claim. It has seriously affected their percolation area, resulting in raw sewage being released. This week, the water was level once again with their front doorstep.
The back garden of a neighbouring resident resembles a swimming pool. The owner’s polytunnel is submerged and his biocycle system, which had to be replaced after being destroyed by previous flooding, was once again floating in water this week.
The residents are angry and upset. They say they never used to get flooded and state in their opinion, the problem was caused by the removal of a ‘swallow’ hole’ in a field behind them. “It used to act as natural drainage, it absorbed the water,” one resident explained adding that ditches were also removed which further exacerbated the problem. Now, they say, the water drains down and ponds in a corner of the field until it overflows, flooding their properties.
In an effort to help, Cork County Council previously reduced the amount of water coming to the properties from the road by opening up all water tables on the R639. A spokesman this week described the situation as as ‘an outstanding civil matter between adjoining land owners’ and said there were no further measures Cork County Council can take. He said the landowner had been previously called to task about the matter.
The affected property owners say they met with a representative of the landowner twelve months ago and received an assurance that measures would be taken to address the problem. They met with a family representative of the landowner again this week and say they were given ‘a further undertaking that steps would be taken to alleviate the flooding’. They say this promise will have to be acted upon as they cannot continue to stand by and see their homes and property repeatedly damaged.