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Belfast is at risk of flooding from a number of sources; notably tidal, fluvial and surface water. In economic terms, the 200-year Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) predicted extreme tidal event is of most concern; potentially causing above floor level flooding to 600 residential and 400 non-residential properties. There would also be serious disruption to commerce, the transportation network, and the social fabric of the city.
The highest tidal surges recorded within Belfast Harbour have occurred within the past 20 years, most recently on 4 and 7 January 2014. Without the close coordination and intervention of all the statutory and voluntary agencies and the city’s emergency plan, more serious damage to property and key infrastructure would have occurred.
The above “near miss” flooding event and concerns over the numbers of “near misses” within a relatively short time period (the 5 highest tidal surges have been recorded since 1994) are why the tidal flood risk study, and subsequent flood alleviation scheme, were commissioned by DFI Rivers. The flooding envelope in a 200-year AEP tidal flood scenario encompasses 2 sq. km of the Belfast city centre, and areas at Lower Ravenhill Road, Ormeau Embankment and Stranmillis.
The presentation will give an overview of the flood risk to the city and the proposed flood alleviation scheme.
Alan is a Chartered Civil Engineer and a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. In his early years he was employed as a Graduate Engineer in the Office of Public Works in Dublin, where he worked in both their Marine and Land Drainage Divisions. Alan has now been working in Flood Risk Management for some 30 years with the Department for Infrastructure - Roads and Rivers, formerly Rivers Agency.
In recent years, as Head of Planning Advisory Unit, Alan carried out a Review of Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 15, “Planning and Flood Risk” and then as Head of the Strategic Planning Unit, held a major role in producing the first Flood Risk Management Plans for NI under the auspices of the European Floods Directive.
In his current post as Head of the Capital Projects Unit - Major Projects, he employs engineering consultants to take forward Flood Alleviation and Drainage Infrastructure Schemes at the feasibility, design and construction stages. The Belfast Tidal Flood Alleviation Scheme will be one of the largest schemes that he has undertaken.
Julie is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Project and Commercial Manager within SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business. She has 14 years’ wide-ranging experience in the water industry working across Rivers and Coastal, Water and Clean Water engineering across the UK, leading multi-disciplinary geographically dispersed project teams.
She is the Project Manager for the Belfast Tidal Flood Alleviation Scheme, and previous Flood Risk Study Project completed in 2016. Julie is an ICE Mentor, Women’s Professional Network Local Hub Coordinator for Atkins’ Belfast Office, and is a past winner of the Karen Burt Award from the Women’s Engineering Society.
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