Saturday 18 November 2017

Turning back the tide on flooding is going to take massive effort

Sandbags were used to keep the water at bay in Waterford during the recent storms. Photo: Patrick Browne
Sandbags were used to keep the water at bay in Waterford during the recent storms. Photo: Patrick Browne

Brian Hayes

The problem is that when the weather turns and the flooding stops, the media spotlight understandably moves on.

What is needed is a major national debate on this issue involving all stakeholders. That's why on April 10 in Dublin Castle the Office of Public Works (OPW) are organising a major national conference on meeting the challenges of flooding.

Local authorities, emergency response agencies, government departments and community organisations responded quickly and effectively in dealing with the immediate aftermath of the storms and floods. They deserve our thanks. The next step is repairing the damaged physical infrastructure. Local authorities have the lead role here in assessing the damage and presenting their estimates to government. The Government is providing the necessary funding for emergency relief and infrastructural repair works. Over €70 million has been set aside to deal with the initial repair bill. We have to deliver to those communities that were so badly effected in recent months.

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