Thursday 21 February 2019

Snowmageddon gone for another 30 years

Hopefully we won’t have to deal with this level of snow again for another few decades
Hopefully we won’t have to deal with this level of snow again for another few decades

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Well, what a week that has been. Scarcely anyone in the country was unaffected by the now dubbed 'Beast from the East' and 'Storm Emma' and it will certainly be talked about for a long time to come.

One debate that was ongoing was whether or not, as a nation, we are well-enough equipped to deal with such extreme weather incidents.

The more negative amongst us bemoaned the fact that public transport and shops were force to cease for a day. I think that the National Emergency Coordination Group did a first class job in impressing upon us the risk that such extreme weather posed. Local authorities around the country did the very best they could in the circumstances and as many roads were cleared and people were able to access the roads again, overall in a timely fashion.

Unfortunately, there will always be some people living in more rural and isolated areas whose roads are tended to at a later stage, but on the whole, the situation was quite well handled.

The argument that we should invest millions of Euro on a better snow contingency plan is pretty much redundant as this sort of weather is so rare, one would have to question the value.

This would either lead to increased taxes or funding diverted from other areas and given that we might only need it every decade, it is more prudent to handle it as it was in recent days.

In times such as this, it is really heart-warming to see the wonderful levels of community spirit that exists around the country.

In every small community, housing estate and town people came together to clear paths and roads, to dig out abandoned vehicles and to deliver supplies to cut-off neighbours.

Children made life-long memories as they build snowmen and in many cases, experienced snow for the first time in their lives.

It's not romanticising the past few days to look at the positive, but rather an observation that when weather like this arrives, albeit rarely, we have no choice but to deal with it and hunker down for a few days.

Hopefully we won't have to do so again for another few decades, but if we do, at least we have learned a few lessons on how to deal with it.