Local flood expert hits out at lack of preparation for storm
A local flood expert has hit out at the lack of joined up thinking in dealing with the flooding issues and says that temporary defences should have been put in place before and not during the storm.
Managing Director of Global Flood Solutions in Roscommon, Shane Curran, said if proactive rather than reactive action had been taken, Athlone would not be in as much trouble with the flooding as is currently the case.
“No-one takes responsibility. There is no joined-up thinking. It’s reactionary rather than being proactive,” he told the Westmeath Independent.
He said that the blame lies at national level and has called for a national flood preparedness group to be established.
“It’s all great to see people working hard in the Strand area but that is easily solvable by modern techniques. There needs to be a pre-planned approach,” he added.
“It was known last Thursday week that there was a storm coming. A lot of this can be alleviated at very little cost and could be looked after in an hour. If measures were taken in advance you wouldn’t have the cost of cleaning up and deploying that is there now. A lot of that work would be diminished,” he said.
He said that sandbagging is a slow and expensive process and if appropriate measures were deployed in time, a lot of stress could have been avoided.
“Rapid deployable gabion barriers should be put in place, temporary containers. They can be put in place very quickly and are far more secure. They should have been put in place last Thursday week. There is a lot of political posturing. There is no need for this hard work if modern technology was used. It’s quicker and less expensive,” he said.
He said that his company has put flexible fluid barriers in place in Foynes, which is similar to the Strand, and this eliminated the flooding issues prevalent in the Strand.
“The problem is on a national level. Once the flooding warning comes into place, areas would be identified and a joint co-ordinated action plan would be put in place,” he said.