Saturday 17 February 2018

Storms cause €18m worth of damage to Galway

Martin Folan from Galway City Council looks on as flood waters begin to drain away. Photo: Declan Monaghan
Martin Folan from Galway City Council looks on as flood waters begin to drain away. Photo: Declan Monaghan
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

STORMS which ravaged the West have caused more than €18m worth of damage to Galway county

As the clean-up continues, a report from Galway County Council laid out the extent of the damage caused. Roads, cemeteries and tourist spots were all seriously damaged by the storms and subsequent flood waters.

An interim submission by Galway County Council described the storms as “the worst such event in living memory based on local knowledge all along the Galway Coastline”.

It estimated the cost of the damage at €18.32m. However, it warned that the figure could be higher as a complete assessment of damaged locations was still ongoing.

“In many instances a more complete assessment cannot be made until clean-up operations have been completed and a number of locations particularly coastal areas require more rigorous investigation,” it added.

It added that approximated €500,000 had been spent on the clean-up cost to date.

Giving a breakdown of the damage, the county council stated that €6.5m was required for coastal protection of roads along the coast and on the islands. A further €3m was needed to repair damage to coastal lands. The council is now recommending a two stage coastal protection plan be implemented. This is expected to cost a further quarter of a million euro.

Damage was done to roads at 100 different locations, with sections of the road being washed away in several instances. The council estimate the cost of repairing these roads at €2m. A further €2m needed to repair piers and harbours across the country.

A total of six cemeteries near the coast were badly damaged. The council estimated a cost of €700,000 to carry out repairs to walls, boundary treatments and in some cases individual burial plots.

An estimated €2.5m will be required to repair tourism infrastructure including beaches, amenity areas, walkways, and parking areas.

“In addition to the direct damage to the beach itself, ancillary infrastructure has been badly impacted. Lifeguard huts have been severely damaged, associated bring banks and signage have also been blown away in certain areas.

“The beaches and adjoining areas have significant amounts of debris including litter and seaweed. Many of the adjoining sand dunes are severely damaged. There will be substantial costs associated with bringing these beaches back to an acceptable standard, in this area which is so dependent on tourism,” the report stated.

The council was also predicting a bill of €20,000 for environmental pollution, for the retrieval of a number of vehicles which were washed into the sea at Inisboffin and Cleggan.

Further costs were estimated for repairing inshore island causeways, (€100,000), the Inis Mheain Airstrip (€250,000) and non-coastal flooding damage of roads (€500,000)

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