THERE have been fresh calls for better defences along a stretch of the Little Dargle River in Rathfarnham following recent heavy flooding which saw Nutgrove Avenue completely immersed in water.
Several local businesses, as well as nearby residential homes, were inundated for days after the river overflowed its banks. Fianna Fáil senator Mary White said families were traumatised after their homes were flooded.
“The flooding on Friday, November 14 at Nutgrove Avenue caused devastation to seven or eight small businesses,” she said in a statement.
“Having started a small business, I know that there are challenges to be conquered every day. There are people working there who maintain cars, gear boxes and other important equipment. The machinery is very expensive and the place was completely destroyed by the floods.
“A young man was fixing pianos in one of the buildings and my heart went out to him when he had to carry some out through the flooding. A lady who had set up a gym just a few months before had to take up wooden floor tiles. I empathise with them because I know how hard it is to do business in normal times and natural crises such as flooding make it so much more difficult.
“These men and woman are self-employed and it is hard enough for them to keep going in the current economic climate.
“Enough precautions were simply not taken on the Little Dargle River.”
She added: “Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has been very co-operative with me in working on behalf of these families and I am hoping that the council will put its heart and soul into helping to obtain compensation for those affected.
“Every precaution should be taken in advance of flooding,” Senator White declared.
“The Little Dargle River should be able to make its way through Nutgrove Park and the culvert without being stopped by debris.”
One local business owner, Robbie Campbell of Campbell Motors, located at Ely House, Nutgrove Avenue, was left devastated by the water.
He told Southside People how it was “soul-destroying” to see the damage to his business.
“You put a lot of work in to keep a small business like mine going and to see all your efforts overwhelmed like this is tragic,” he said.
“The garage here was under water for days and it took hours and hours to clean up afterwards.
“The council has been down here before working on the stream but this is not the first time this has happened. There was another serious flood in 2011 that caused a massive amount of damage.
“We need the council to make more efforts to prevent this from happening again.”
Robbie, who set up his motor repair shop 25 years ago, estimates that it cost him thousands of euro in damage to his machinery and in getting his business back up and running.
“We have special machinery here that was destroyed in the flooding,” he explained.
“One diagnostic piece of equipment worth thousands was damaged while the water even knocked over a drum of oil worth €750.
“Luckily I had some friends come down and help me clean it up. But I’m convinced that while there have only been serious floods in recent years, there will be more.”
A spokesperson for Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said in a statement that they had been in contact with the businesses and householders that were flooded on Nutgrove Avenue to see if any practical assistance could be offered.
“We have engaged consultants to examine the screen arrangement in Loretto Park/Nutgrove Avenue and to examine potential improvements that could be made,” the spokesperson said.
“We are also examining factors that contributed to the flooding on Nutgrove Avenue and exploring flood alleviation measures.”