DUNDALK Town Councillor Martin Bellew wants the street drains and gullies in the town to be cleared regularly to stop flooding.
He told the monthly meeting of the town council the gullies are so clogged up with silt and leaves and mud people will soon need boats to get round the town.
Cllr Bellew had a motion before council to clean all road gullies in the Dundalk urban area in order to eliminate all the unnecessary flooding of roads which is now happening after every moderate rainfall.
“We are spending money lowering gullies that should have been lowered when roads were being resurfaced,” Cllr Bellew said.
“Now, when it rains, it flood immediately and the only solution is to get the contractors to redo the work.
“Trees are growing out of some of these gullies.
“Over the last few months, with all the rainfall, people couldn’t walk the streets of the town without being splashed by water. People with prams, everybody suffered.
“I am proposing that we clean every gully in Dundalk urban area before next winter otherwise people will be going around in boats,” Cllr Bellew said.
Cllr Eamon O’Boyle agreed.
“It’s a scandal,” he said. “There is not an estate that is free of this problem. A programme to clear them all should be put in place immediately.”
Cllr Harry Todd also listed several estates and roads that were flooded as a result of blocked gullies.
Town engineer Catherine Duff said there are 3,000 gullies in Dundalk and each one is cleared every four years under a four-year programme set in place.
She said that because of cutbacks and staff shortages they cannot be cleared more frequently.
“Maintenance has become a difficult issue for us in the town council,” she said.
But Cllr Bellew was not happy with that.
“Once in four years is not enough,” he said. “If we cleared them more often we would have fewer potholes.
“It is crucial that we find extra money and clear these gullies once a year.”