Bandon Flood Early Warning System (FEWS)

Project Info

Organisation Cork County Council, OPW

Project Description

This system has been put in place by Cork County Council, Bandon Town Council and the Office of Public Works with the assistance of RPS Consulting Engineers in response to a long history of flooding in the town.

Flooding in Bandon is primarily due to heavy rainfall in the catchment of the Bandon River and of its tributary, the Bridewell River which joins the Bandon River immediately downstream of Bandon Bridge. It can be exacerbated by high tides in the Bandon River estuary, approximately 6km to the east of the town.

The management of flood risk at present consists of a Flood Early Warning System, operated by Cork County Council, which was installed in early 2011 and an associated Flood Emergency Response Plan. The Flood Early Warning System operates by monitoring river levels at three gauging stations located at Longbridge, Bealaboy and Bandon and issuing text alerts to designated people depending on the level of the river and the associated colour of the alert – yellow (low), yellow (high), orange and red. The level of the alert will determine the resulting actions by the people contacted ultimately resulting in the implementation of the Flood Emergency Response Plan.

The Bandon Flood Early Warning System allows for Cork County Council to give prior warning that there is a risk of an imminent flood event in Bandon Town. This enables the local authorities, its emergency partners & people in the affected areas of town, to mobilise their flood action plans and thereby reduce damage to property & contents. The system will be capable of raising a flood alert with approximately 5 hours warning time and can estimate the scale of the flood event – yellow – orange – red.

Information is provided through a website www.bandonfloodwarning.ie. This website provides real time information on river levels and flood alerts, advice on flood action plans, information on historical flooding and on ongoing and proposed flood relief work. Eligible members of the public can register to receive free text message warning alerts on the User Registration page of the website.