Friday 24 November 2017

Councils urged to issue weather text warning

At least 12 local councils have implemented text alert services for those who wish to receive the latest updates on impending bad weather
At least 12 local councils have implemented text alert services for those who wish to receive the latest updates on impending bad weather

Jane O'Faherty

Local authorities across the country are being urged to introduce a text service to alert residents and business owners of impending bad weather such as Storm Desmond.

Wicklow County Council is the latest local authority to embrace opt-in text alerts for weather, which inform constituents of weather warnings, flooding and water service disruption.

At least 12 local councils have similar initiatives in place, including flood-prone counties such as Cork, Clare and Westmeath.

Jennifer Whitmore, a non-party councillor for Greystones, Co Wicklow, said there was a need for swifter communication from local authorities.

"We had instances in Greystones where there was a water shortage.

"A lot of the local businesses were not aware until morning," she said.

Twelve of Ireland's 31 councils already offer a similar text system, but 13 councils stated they do not provide a text service to residents.

These included Donegal and Co Galway, parts of which were flooded over the weekend, as well as Laois, Monaghan, Cavan and Kerry

However, the councils added that they publish warnings via social media and local news outlets.

Six authorities were unavailable for comment.

Irish Independent

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