View of the River Barrow and Graiguenamanagh Bridge; View of the River Barrow and Graiguenamanagh Bridge;

Pilot Community Flood Response for Thomastown and Graiguenamanagh, Kilkenny

A new approach to managing flood risk in Ireland

Thomastown and Graiguenamanagh have a long history of flooding. The most recent flood event occurred in December 2015 when both towns suffered severe flooding.

Through the provision of Individual Property Protection (IPP) to residential and commercial properties, it is recognised that the proposed scheme represents a new approach to managing flood risk in Ireland. Traditionally, flood relief schemes are concerned with keeping flood waters away from properties and areas at risk. Engagement with the relevant property owners is therefore of critical importance to the successful delivery of the scheme.

A particular feature of the scheme is that the property owners themselves will be the primary operators of the system, as they will be deploying their own IPP measures. Careful consideration will have to be given to any property owner who may be unable to perform this function as part of the overall scheme.

Stakeholder engagement is being provided through provision of information leaflets and property owner questionnaires. Arup is also managing the detailed building survey for the circa 150 at-risk properties to assess potential flood flow routes and assess individual property measures.

The key objectives of the scheme are to develop an early flood warning/forecasting system for Thomastown and Graiguenamanagh. It is aimed that this scheme will provide properties at risk of flooding with individual flood protection measures (such as floodgates, non-return valves etc.), in order to prevent the ingress of floodwater into the property. This project is considered in the context of a National Pilot Study for community flood response schemes and will be reported on accordingly.