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Plans to lower Camlough Lake water levels among options discussed to protect from flooding

Camlough Lake in south Armagh

A plan to lower the water level at Camlough Lake was one of the measures discussed to help prevent catastrophic future flooding in the area.

Calls have been made for “rapid action” in a bid to protect Camlough village and surrounding areas from devastating flood damage.

Sinn Féin councillor Declan Murphy, and party colleagues, met with senior Council staff, NI Water, Rivers Agency and AECOM – the company which built the dam at the lake.

The £3 million dam work was completed in 2017, which included strengthening the reservoir embankment to provide extra security in the event of heavy rainfall, and the construction of a valve tower to control flows from the lake.

However, in late October and early November, the village was flooded as a result of heavy rainfall, leaving homes and businesses fighting the deluge.

“The unprecedented flooding in November devastated communities in Newry and South Armagh and it’s vital that steps are taken to help prevent this from happening again,” said Councillor Murphy.

“Not only does the overflowing of Camlough Lake pose a threat to many local homes and businesses in the village, but it also puts more pressure on the Canal in Newry as a result.

“AECOM gave us a report on how to best mitigate against future flooding and lowering the water level in the lake was discussed as one measure. Given that the infrastructure to do this is already in place, we are calling on Rivers Agency to come back to us with a plan to manage the water levels as a matter of urgency.”

Conor Murphy MLA alongside his party colleagues, Cllrs Declan Murphy and Oonagh Magennis.

Conor Murphy MLA, alongside his party colleagues, Cllrs Declan Murphy and Oonagh Magennis, speaking to NI Water

His party colleague, Conor Murphy MLA, added: “With climate change, it’s vital that we take the necessary steps to protect communities against floods and other extreme weather.

“These incidents can destroy communities, seeing homes, businesses and jobs lost. Sinn Féin will continue to press for action as soon as possible to help protect against future flooding.”

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