Sunday 22 July 2018

Clean-up continues after snow and flood

Power outages, damaged buildings and flooding

Mark Devlin (5) helping with the clean-up on the Rathnew to Glenealy
Road (Photo: Brian Murray).
Mark Devlin (5) helping with the clean-up on the Rathnew to Glenealy Road (Photo: Brian Murray).
Doctor’s Steps, Wicklow town (Photo: Mark Henry).
The snowy landscape around Rathdrum.

Myles Buchanan

Wicklow town escaped the worst of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma but outlying areas were hit much harder.

Thankfully locals were well-prepared for the onslaught but had to deal with the added issues of power cuts and flooding.

Wicklow town was already dealing with some flooding before Thursday's Red Alert kicked in at 4 p.m. High tides and strong easterly winds caused flooding in a number of houses along the sea front. Fire Services and the RNLI had to attend the properties in order to pump the water out.

Wicklow County Council provided large sand bags which were put in place at the sea front to combat the threat of further flooding. The problem lessened as the tide began to subside but the situation continued to be closely monitored.

Water entered a handful of houses, while a couple of cars were also damaged.

A wind surfer surfing near to Wicklow Pier also had to be approached by gardai on Thursday and told to leave the area because of the dangerous sea and wind conditions. Cllr John Snell criticised the surfer for failing to pay any regard for the emergency services.

'They may feel they are a confident and competent wind surfer but they should also take into consideration that they are potentially putting the lives of emergency service members at risk. The sea was very wild and there shouldn't be any need for the Gardai to call them to shore, especially when warnings about staying away from the sea front had already been issued. '

Part of the promenade near to Wicklow Rowing Club was also washed away by raging sea waters, while debris was deposited all along the sea front, including large boulders dumped on the green beside the new Brass Fox pub. Up to 50 lobster pots were also discarded along the coast.

The Murrough Recycling Centre only reopened again on Tuesday following some flood damage on Thursday.

In preparation for the 'Big Chill' Conway Port provided eight tonnes of free gritting salt from outside their office for any members of the public who may have required it.

The Grand Hotel provided overnight accommodation on Thursday and Friday at reduced rates for anyone who was working in the area but ended up stranded, including a couple of Gardai.

Power outages in Rathnew, Wicklow town, Ashford, Glenealy and Brittas Bay also proved troublesome on Thursday night but ESB had rectified the problem by 3 a.m., with power restored to the majority of homes.

The Civil Defence helped a patient from Redcross receive dialysis and also liaised with people about delivering oxygen tanks.

Roundwood, Newtownmountkennedy and Laragh were the most badly impacted areas within the Wicklow Municipal District, with large snow drifts causing delays to the clearing of roads.

A number of businesses were affected by the storm, including a sheep farm in Roundwood after a shed collapsed only days before lambing season.

Schools throughout the district remained closed on Thursday and Friday, with many not reopening until Tuesday due to the severity of the conditions.

Wicklow People