Saturday 23 September 2017

Storm Frank: Exhausted residents of town demand defences promised to them 'years ago'

Flooding in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford after the River Slaney burst its banks and flowed over the bridge. Photo: Mary Browne
Flooding in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford after the River Slaney burst its banks and flowed over the bridge. Photo: Mary Browne
Adam Cullen

Adam Cullen

Business owners last night called for more action and less bureaucracy when it comes to dealing with flooding.

Ronan Furlong, who operates the Top Oil Service Station and Tyreworld on Island Road, said that "red tape" was costing him and other hardworking business people thousands of euro every time there was a flood.

Mr Furlong's business was under four foot of water yesterday after the River Slaney had burst its banks.

The deluge rose above the petrol pumps in his garage forecourt and seeped through drains to flood his newly renovated shop.

"We were here at 2 o'clock in the morning getting ready for this. We didn't leave until 7am and were back soon after," he said. "We had to move all of the electrical and computer equipment used for the Tyre business away, as well as fridges and coffee machines and things from the shop.

"This is the fourth time since the year 2000 that we have been flooded. This is one of the worst.

"We have taken all the steps that we can to prevent it. We put out sandbags and built a four-foot high concrete wall to stop the water - but it didn't work because the water came up through the floor and drains," said the worried business owner, who cannot insure his property against flood damage.

Mr Furlong said it was "very hard" to maintain the business when incurring thousands of euro in losses every time that there is a flood.

"We have just invested a considerable sum of money to renovate the shop here.

"We worked hard last night to save some stuff, but there is still a massive amount of damage that is not insured. What makes this all so frustrating is that fact that a flood defence scheme was approved here years ago and it is still not going ahead.

"I don't want to complain, especially when people's homes have been badly flooded, but we need less bureaucracy and more action."

Locals in the town believe that it is time that they were afforded a flood defence system similar to those operating in Clonmel and Waterford.

Irish Independent

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