Flood defences need to be built around a shopping area in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, to protect it from the nearby Lough Erne’s rising waters, according to a Government report.
And roads near lakes across County Fermanagh, which experienced widespread flooding last year, should be raised from the ground and upgraded to avoid a repeat of the damage, said the official task force that investigated the floods.
Its report insisted that flooding in the area cannot be avoided entirely and said a comprehensive review is needed on how the level of water in the lakes is managed, as well as reiterating the requirement that authorities continue to provide people with their essential services during any floods.
It added that Killyhevlin Water Treatment Works, near Enniskillen, also needs to be better protected.
In November last year, huge areas of Fermanagh were covered in water because of heavy rain which lasted several days. Many people were trapped at home and many schools and businesses had to close. The busy Derrychara link road was swamped. The route connects two major supermarkets with the popular Erneside shopping centre.
Workers raised the height of the Derrychara road with another layer of surface while the flooding was taking place but the Government task force said the £1 million cost of raising the road any further is not worth the effort - the road sits on a soft bed of land which once was a lake.
The official report has instead recommended an assessment be carried out on whether flood defences can be built around Lough Erne. The Rivers Agency and Roads Service will do that next year.
The report added: “It may be feasible to isolate the Derrychara/Erneside area from Lough Erne in the event of a repeat flood event to prevent flood inundation of the area.”
The Stormont executive said it will give out £1M for some of the task force recommendations to be implemented. New Bridge Road at the outdoor pursuits Share Centre near Lisnaskea will be raised, as will Wattlebridge road and Inishmore Road. Other roads in the Sillies and Finn rivers areas will also be made higher.