Counting the cost of the snow begins
With the District having been absolutely battered by the snow brought by Storm Emma, council officials are now beginning to calculate the cost of the damage caused, with roads having taken a particular hammering. At last week's council meeting, the members were unanimous in the praise for all the work council staff had done during the extreme weather.
Director of Services John Carley said that, in relation to roads, area engineers were preparing a county-wide estimate of the damage which would then be sent to the National Co-ordination Group and then to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). In relation to the work of council crews during the storm, he thanked all of the members for their high praise.
'A lot of staff went above and beyond the call of duty,' he said. 'A lot of staff stayed in and there was wonderful co-operation. I've never seen as big of a community effort as I did during the snow and it was really heartening to see. Wexford people were out helping Wexford people and that's what they do best. There were major efforts to help neighbours, to help people get out for treatment - Wexford can really be proud. We are preparing cost estimates now and we expect to receive generous funding from the government as promised.'
Cllr Barbara Anne Murphy said that funding to repair the roads was urgently needed, saying 'we have potholes out there now that you could lose your car in!'
Cllr Paddy Kavanagh expressed major concerns over the state of the roads at Slaney View and Fr Murphy Park saying: 'I've never seen a road to get as bad. It carries several hundred school children every day and it's in an awful way.' Cllr Keith Doyle agreed with this and said that the surface won't last another year.
Cllr Willie Kavanagh re-iterated the praise for council staff during the storm, particularly singling out Padraig O'Gorman for the work he did housing rough sleepers at The Presentation Centre, before saying that the road to the GAA Club in Davidstown was also particularly badly effected by the weather.
Cllrs John O'Rourke and Kathleen Codd Nolan said that roads that were being used for diversions due to work on the bypass had also been badly effected and asked whether the contractors could be asked to take action and maintain them as they had promised to do.
All of the councillors paid tribute to the staff who worked so diligently during the storm, particularly Engineers Joanne Kehoe and Tadhg O'Corcora and the staff on the ground who they said did a great job in difficult circumstances.