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Am I at risk from flooding?

Warning signs

Simple ways to assess the risk of flooding to your property are to find out the history of flooding in the surrounding area and to consider the area around your property.


For example, your house may be at risk from flooding if:

  • Your house has flooded in the past.
  • Flooding has occurred before in your area.
  • There is local concern in your community about the risk of flooding.
  • Your house is near an open water source, such as a river, the sea, a lake, a stream, ditches or drains.
  • Your house is in a hollow or a low-lying area where floodwater could collect.
  • Ordnance Survey maps indicate ‘liable to floodsÂ’ at the location of your property.

If you have not lived in the area for long, your neighbours or a local historian might know if any floods have occurred in the area.

From the middle of October 2006 information in relation to areas of the country that may be prone to flooding will be available on the Office of Public Works website www.floodmaps.ie which can also be accessed via the main OPW website www.opw.ie

If your property fits into any of the criteria noted above then you could be at risk from flooding due to:

  • Rainfall filling rivers, streams and ditches beyond their flow capacity.
  • Floodwater overflowing river banks and flood defences onto floodplains.
  • Coastal storms leading to overtopping and breaching of coastal flood defences due to storm surge and wave action.
  • Blocked or overloaded drainage ditches, drains and sewers overflowing across roads, gardens and into property.
  • Overloaded sewers back flowing into property.
  • Rain that is so heavy that run-off flows overland down hills and slopes.
  • Rain soaking into the ground causing ground water levels to rise and flood.
It is important to remember also that while flood defences, such as walls or embankments, do provide some protection against flooding, they do not provide total protection. Flooding of areas behind such defences can occur from water behind the defences being unable to drain away (such as storm water from heavy rain) or from floodwaters spilling over the top of defences in particularly extreme events. If your property is behind a defence, it will flood less frequently than if the defences were not there, but it will still be at some risk.

Download Leaflet - Assessing Flood Risk (139 kbs)