Denis Naughten has called on the National Emergency Co-ordination group to direct Bord Na Mona to let its bogs in the midlands flood to ease the pressure of mounting flood waters.
“Over the next 3 days we are expected to see a further 60mm of rainfall much of which will eventually end up in the River Shannon, with potentially devastating consequences on homes and whole communities”.
“At the same time Bord Na Mona continues to keep its pumps running to prevent commercial bog land from flooding; this now needs to be urgently reviewed”.
“With water levels already at near record highs, the additional rainfall could push flood waters over these levels, which will destroy homes and leave communities marooned and inaccessible to emergency services”.
“Bord Na Mona has tens of thousands of acres of bog land within the Shannon basin which would flood naturally, some up to 4.5m in depth, and even if this resulted in just a small overall reduction in the flood levels, it could be the difference between saving homes or watching them flood”.
“Such a proposal was been put to Government in the past by an All Party Dáil Committee, but now we need urgent action to save whole communities”.
“By flooding some of the bog lands north of Lough Ree and south of Athlone we could help to ease pressure on towns such as Carrick on Shannon & Athlone and communities within the Shannon Callows. This would also delay the speed at which water enters Lough Derg and as a result would impact on the spill rate at Parteen Weir which directly threatens communities in Limerick & Clare” concluded Denis Naughten.
Oireachtas Committee report: http://www.oireachtas.ie/
Previous statement on foot of presentation to Government: http://denisnaughten.ie/2012/