City braces itself for highest tides in nearly two decades

The city Aquadam.

The city Aquadam.

This month will see some of the highest tides Galway has experienced in the last 18 years, with measures being put in place to deal with flooding around the Spanish Arch area of the city.

Galway City Council chief executive Brendan McGrath told this week’s meeting of the local authority that an inflatable aquadam will be in place at the Fishmarket and the Spanish Arch from this weekend, though some flooding in the area is inevitable.

“Thankfully at the moment the weather indications are positive as of today for the beginning of that period,” Mr McGrath told the councillors. “What those high tides will mean is that without any associated weather — high pressure, wind, or storm surge — there will be some overtopping. The aquadam will be deployed and has been deployed. We have contingency arrangements in place. Hopefully the weather will remain benign and you will have some normal overtopping at Fishmarket. If you get wind or rainfall, or low pressure, or any combination of these, then potentially you could have a problem.”

The highest tides are expected during the week beginning September 27, and there will be no public events in the area during this period.

Mr McGrath said the council had already met with emergency services, in accordance with agreed protocols, to discuss the situation, with a further meeting planned next week to discuss further measures to protect vulnerable areas of the city, such as Salthill, in the event of the weather further affecting the tides.

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