Heavy rains combined with high tides to flood the main approach road into Ballyheigue from the south for the first time in a couple of years this week.
Motorists are now being forced to travel through Causeway to get to Tralee, and other areas to the south of the village, as the road remained closed into Tuesday afternoon having been closed to traffic as it submerged early on Monday.
Kerry County Council engineers are currently monitoring the situation with a view to reopening the road as soon as the waters recede, but the authority was unable to say for how long it might remain closed given the volatile conditions.
Locals were particularly dismayed over the road closure on Monday as many had hoped that recent works carried out on the road would have lessened the impact of flooding on the long-hit flood spot.
However, a spokesperson for Kerry County Council told The Kerryman that the works to the road were not undertaken to specifically address the issue of flooding there, but rather to fix the surface dressing.
“People were taken aback by the closure because the Council surfaced the road very recently and people thought that would be sufficient when it came to the flooding problem there,” one local said. “But it’s a real inconvenience when it does flood as it cuts people off from Tralee.
“It’s only lorries, jeeps and vans that can go through it at the moment with most drivers, of cars, having to use Causeway which can mean a round trip of up to 20 more miles to Tralee.”
Locals say the ‘Line’ road is meanwhile too narrow to use as an alternative route to the south.
A spokesperson for Kerry County Council told The Kerryman that engineers are aware of the long-term flooding problem there and are monitoring the situation. They explained that the recent works had been carried out only to dress the surface of the road. “Any long term flood relief would require funding from central government,” they said.