independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Roof of Aquadome damaged in storm

Aqua Dome likely to be closed for several weeks following storm damage. Severe storm force winds removed several slates from the roof of the building and there was damage to the conical glass dome on the facility, which has created a health and safety problem.

WITH bad weather continuing to hamper repair efforts at Tralee's Aquadome, it has emerged that the cost of storm damage at the centre could reach up to €50,000.

The roof of the Aquadome was badly damaged by storm force winds on St Stephen's night, forcing the closure of the leisure facility until repairs can be carried out.

Winds that gusted up to 80mph tore the conical metal cap from the top of the dome, ripped over 300 slates from the roof, shattered several large panes of glass and caused structural damage to the the flume tower at the rear of the building.

While work to repair the damaged flume tower is almost complete, the task of repairing the dome itself is being hampered by continuing bad weather.

In order to carry out the repairs, which would only require about a day's concerted work, a crane is required. However, the crane can only be used on a day with winds of less then 15 mph.

While the storms have abated, the wind remains to strong to bring in the crane and it could be next week before the weather has calmed enough to allow the work proceed.

This week winds of between 20 and 35 miles per hour have been forecast for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Management at the attraction, which had already endured a difficult year with visitor numbers down significantly due to last summer's heatwave, say the total repair bill could reach €50,000.

The cost is due to the Aquadome's unique roof design which comprises several specially designed and manufactured sections such as the dome's large curved windows and its distinctive conical cap.

However, the full cost of the storm damage won't be known until builders and insurance assessors can use a crane to get a closer look at the roof.

Aquadome Chief Executive Kieran Ruttledge said all that is needed right now is one calm day to asses the damage and complete the most urgent repairs.

"We just need one day. If we can get a single day where the weather is in our favour we could be open again the following morning," he said.

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