Larne rated sixth highest flood risk provincial town, council told
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has been responding to the Department for Infrastructure’s Flood Risk Management Plan 2021-27 which is aimed at reducing risk to life and disruption to essential infrastructure.
Larne has the sixth highest risk of flooding of provincial towns in Northern Ireland, Mid and East Antrim councillors have been told.
The Northern Ireland Flood Risk Assessment 2018 ranks Carrickfergus, 11th and Ballymena, 12th of 45 flood risk areas across the Province, according to a report presented to the borough council’s Direct Services Committee this week.
In Larne, the main risk is from surface water with flood damage estimated at a potential £2.6m cost with the “flatter” town centre and harbour areas “more susceptible” although there have been no reports of “significant flooding” in Larne since 2015.
The Northern Ireland Flood Risk Management Plan notes that Larne is also at risk of coastal flooding from “tidal surges”. As a result, the town is included in the Northern Ireland Coastal Flood Response Plan.
Carrickfergus also shows risk of damage from surface water at a potential estimated cost of £1.5m. The Department for Infrastructure report indicates that the most recent flooding occurred in early 2020.
Last January, Storm Brendan caused a sea wall to partially collapse which led to flooding along Belfast Road resulting in road closures between Sloefield Road and Albert Road.
The following month, Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis caused tidal flooding “overwhelming” drainage systems with the A2 flooded between Carrick and Belfast. Storm damage was caused to the sea wall and footpaths at Trooperslane in May last year.
Surface rainwater is the main risk of flooding in Ballymena which could result in damage at a cost of £1.3m.
The Flood Risk Management Plan reports a history of recorded floods, particularly in areas such as Toome Road and Queen Street to a depth of 600 metres in 2008.
In 2018, substantial rainfall caused flooding at Cushendall Road and Dan’s Road.
Feasibility work with a view to a flood alleviation scheme has been earmarked for Ballee Burn, Lower Mill Layde and Braid River areas of Ballymena by 2023.
The council has welcomed a commitment by NI Water to produce a Drainage Area Plan for mitigate flooding issues.
In the local authority’s reponse, the council has asked for timescales to be revisited “in order to reflect the risk”.
DfI Rivers is to carry out a feasibility work with regard to a flood alleviation scheme in the Carrickfergus and Kilroot areas.
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
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