Wrath of Storm Christine clear at Carrowholly
Most readers will have seen pictures of the bridge at Carrowholly after it was washed away by Storm Christine in the early hours of Friday, January 3.
The bridge and road was no match for the powerful tide, which washed into the bridge and beyond. The dramatic image of the gaping hole that was created when the bridge finally gave way featured in these pages and elsewhere. However, viewing the area when water levels are low, gives an even greater appreciation for just how fearsome the tide was.
Standing in the river last Thursday, the water was no more than two feet deep. By looking up at the broken road and bridge high above, it becomes clear that the water would not have been far off ten-feet deep in early January. Standing in the same spot then would have been impossible: You’d be completely underwater and your hand would not even reach the surface. It’s hard to believe. The calm after the storm.
The solid rock and stone that comprised the bridge had stood strong for generations. It couldn’t cope with Storm Christine, however.
The sea is not visible from the bridge, and the river must travel roughly one kilometre before it reaches the coast. The land in this area is actually reclaimed from the sea, an operation that locals say took place over a century ago. Apparently, it is hard to keep the sea away from its natural course forever. This January proved that.
Council workers arrive to examine the bridge as we leave. It will have to be restored, but with the return of high water levels likely in the future, a very secure structure will be needed.
At nearby Rosmindle, the only access road leading to the coastal townland is now passable again. Until the middle of last week, it was completely flooded. The houses in the area appear safe enough, perched on high ground as they are. But the road is at a low point through a flood plain. Fields on each sides of the straight stretch of road are still heavily flooded. As we drive through, the road itself is just barely passable in parts.
It’s clear to see Rosmindle also remains vulnerable in the future.
SMASHED?This bridge and road at Carrowholly was no match for Storm Christine as this picture, taken at ground level after the water levels subsided, shows.?Pic: Michael McLaughlin