Tuesday 12 December 2017

Storm Frank cost county €2 million so far

By David tucker

The submerged Seamus Rafter Bridge in Enniscorthy.
The submerged Seamus Rafter Bridge in Enniscorthy.

Storm Frank flooding has so far cost Wexford more than €2 million in terms of labour, plant, equipment and damage to public roads, according to a report drawn up by the county council.

The cash-strapped county council has asked the government for money to foot the flooding bill. Councillors say that the council should be reimbursed without any difficulty for emergency works as is the norm.

The €2 million cost estimate does not include damage to the coastline, which is still being assessed.

During the flooding, 67 residential dwellings were evacuated, 44 of the residents since returning, 13 homes were damaged by flooding but were accessible, 32 homes were not flooded but inaccessible due to the floods, and 68 business premises were affected.

More than 50 roads throughout the county were hit by the flooding between December 23 and January 3, Eamonn Hore Director of Services for Roads says in the report.

Mr Hore said that on the first and most damaging flooding of Enniscorthy town on December 29, council staff were involved in distributing over 3,000 sandbags and informing residents, businesses and car owners of the impending floods.

He said that over the period, the outdoor workforce of Wexford County Council put in around 4,150 hours of emergency work at all times of the day and night.

This included providing over 4,000 sandbags, the deployment of 300 staff, including direct labour staff, fire services personnel, civil defence and private contractors, numerous road diversions, including on national routs - the N30, N11 and N25, 24 hour manning and emergency lighting on key route diversion points and the deployment of pumps to flooded properties.

One of the key successes was the erection of flood barriers in New Ross, successfully preventing flooding of the N25 and adjoining properties.

Emergency housing was provided to a number of Enniscorthy families and emergency food aid was delivered to families in flooded, inaccessible locations. The council also assisted property owners in the removal and disposal of flood-damaged contents and material from commercial and domestic properties, carried out emergency road repairs, updated the people of the county through the website, radio and twitter and removed numerous fallen trees and debris from public roads. In all, 1,000 phone calls were logged to various county council district offices, 234 calls were made to the council's out-of-hours emergency line and extensive use was made of the Mapalerter system of which there are 3,700 registered users and of the council's Twitter account with 5,600 followers. In the 24 hour period around December 29, the tweet activity earned some 63,526 impressions.

Wexford People

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