3.2 Flooding Risks in Cork City
There is a long history of flooding in Cork city and the River Lee valley. There were some 292 floods reported over the period 1841–1988. A number of severe floods have affected the city, most recently in November 2009, February 2014 and Winter 2015/16. The November 2009 event was exceptionally severe, with major damage caused to commercial and residential buildings in Cork city. It has been estimated by the OPW that the damages caused in the 2009 river flood and 2014 tidal flood amounted to €90m and €40m respectively. The National Planning Framework identified that flood management must be addressed as part of any future growth strategy for Cork. Thus, the plans for the development of Cork City, including Cork Docklands, must consider the impact of flooding.
The Lee Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study (Lee CFRAMS), which was carried out by the OPW between 2006 and 2013, identified a preferred scheme to manage flood risk including a combination of a flood forecasting and warning system, revised ESB dam operating procedures and waterside defences. Following on from this, the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme (LLFRS) has been developed, which is a modified version of the measures proposed in the Lee CFRAMS together with a flow control structure on the south channel to rebalance flows between the north and south channels. This scheme is designed to protect over 2,100 properties, including 900 homes and 1,200 businesses against tidal and river flooding.