I propose, with your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, to deal with questions Nos. 58 to 66 together.
On Tuesday last, the 11th June, a severe thunderstorm accompanied by torrential rain caused extensive flooding in the Dublin-Dún Laoghaire area. Final figures of the actual amount of rain which fell are not yet available, but indications are that at the heaviest point the fall may have reached about seven inches in the day. At one place, outside the main storm area, 3.4 inches of rain fell in two and a half hours. This unprecedented downpour resulted in heavy overloading of the surface water drainage system. The position was aggravated by two additional factors, one, the blocking of certain culverts by debris, the other, the temporary failure of the Londonbridge Road pumping station, which was struck by lightning. This pumping station was the only one affected. It deals with discharges from the Pembroke area and its stoppage intensified the flooding in some degree, particularly in the vicinity of St. Alban's Park.
Immediately after the flooding, I asked Dublin Corporation, Dublin County Council and Dún Laoghaire Borough Corporation for reports on the causative factors, the measures taken to deal with the situation, the adequacy of the means available and what action was proposed to minimise the effects of any similar occurrence in the future. Pending the receipt of those reports, I am not in a position to deal with a large number of points of detail which have been raised in the questions.
In general, however, I am aware that the local authorities have been taking steps to meet the increased need for surface water drainage which arises from extensive housing development in south Dublin. A major surface water drainage scheme, estimated to cost about £300,000 is being undertaken jointly by Dublin County Council and Dún Laoghaire Borough Corporation. The main interceptor from Kilmacud to Dean's Grange has been completed and operated satisfactorily during the storm. A further stage of this scheme, prepared by Dublin County Council for surface water drainage in the Roebuck-Belfield-Stillorgan Road area, was fully approved by me in February, 1962, but has been impeded by protracted land acquisition difficulties. Steps have been taken by the council to overcome these obstacles.
For some time past, Dublin Corporation and Dublin County Council have been considering the general question of the drainage of the south city and contiguous areas, and, in consultation with my Department, have arranged for a full examination of the position with a view to the preparation of further drainage schemes in the south county and south city areas. The adequacy of the arrangements for drainage discharge through the Londonbridge Road station and otherwise is one of the matters under review.
I do not propose to ask the Government to provide compensation for persons who have suffered inconvenience or damage to property.