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Cathaoirleach acknowledges response to Storm Desmond

Cllr Ciaran Brogan

Cathaoirleach Cllr. Ciaran Brogan

 

Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Ciaran Brogan has paid tribute to everyone involved in the response to last weekend’s storm. 

 

“From initial notification on Friday morning right through the weekend and into the early part of this week the work undertaken by the staff and volunteers of organisations such as Donegal County Council through the Roads service, the Fire Service and the Civil Defence as well as the Defence Forces, the Irish Coastguard and the numerous volunteers all over the county was tremendous” said Cllr. Brogan.

 

“Many of the staff & volunteers were on call from early on Friday and every effort was made to protect life, homes and businesses.  Although we were not able to save every home and business from the devastation of the flooding, I can honestly say that the people of Donegal were not found wanting this weekend.  Our community spirit and our belief in the value of public service was clearly reflected in the dedication and care demonstrated by all our services over the weekend and I personally would like to thank them for their efforts”.

 

“This has been a difficult time for many people throughout the county and my heart goes out to all of those whose homes and livelihoods have been devastated by the floods.  I can assure these people that Donegal County Council will be to the fore in advocating and lobbying for the necessary resources to address the infrastructural deficiencies in the county”.

 

 

Donegal County Council Roads Service

 

Donegal County Council’s Road Service crews were out over the entire weekend and while approximately 140 calls were received through the out of hours emergency number, the vast majority of call outs were received locally by Roads staff and by local councillors.  Road Service crews were dealing with flooding on many of the county’s roads and every effort was made throughout the weekend to keep the county’s road network passable. 

 

Unfortunately this was not always possible and a large number of roads were closed due to flooding for a period of time over the weekend including roads in the Kilmacrennan, Milford & Termon area, sections along the N56 at Ardara, Creeslough, Dunfanaghy and Falcaragh, the N13 at Tircallan near Stranorlar and at the crossing in Pettigo village.  There was also flooding on roads in the west of the county including Glenties, Narin, Portnoo, Gweedore and at Derrybeg.

 

There was extensive flooding in the Ballybofey Stranorlar area, Castlefin and Lifford which resulted in a number of businesses and homes being evacuated and in parts of the N15 being closed for lengthy periods of time over the weekend including the bridge at Lifford.

 

Lifford Flooding 2

 Pumping flood water from Main Street Lifford on Sunday morning

 

Donegal Fire Service

 

Donegal Fire Service received a total of 53 flood related calls on the 5th and 6th of December 2015.  A Fire Brigade resource responded to each incident and many of the incidents required a response from multiple brigades and a number of incidents lasted approximately 24 hours.

 

The brigades responded to calls in the Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal Town, Ballybofey/Stranorlar, Glenties, Fahan, Creeslough, Kilmacrenan, Bunbeg  and Lifford areas with the main operational focus being on Bundoran, Donegal Town, Ballybofey / Stranorlar and Lifford.

 

The Army, Civil Defence and the Irish Coast Guard together with private resources were deployed to assist at a number of the flooding incidents. The Fire Service evacuated people from public houses in Lifford on the morning of the 6th and the Coast Guard rescued 10 persons from 4 houses in Lifford on the afternoon / evening of the same day.

 

Lifford Flooding 1 

Donegal Fire Service responding to flooding at Lifford

 

Donegal Civil Defence

 

Volunteers from Donegal Civil Defence were on standby from 10am on Friday morning and were activated at midday on Saturday.  18 volunteers undertook a range of duties throughout Saturday including assisting the Fire Service with sandbagging and pumping water out of a number of premises and houses in the Ballybofey and Castlefin areas.  Volunteers were also involved in rescuing people from cars caught up in the floods and assisted in the evacuation of the Balor Theatre in Ballybofey.

 

 

Social Media

 

Donegal County Council’s Communications Office worked throughout the weekend to keep the public aware of the impact of the flooding in various parts of the county.  Social media was used extensively by the Council with constant messages being shared through the Councils Facebook page and Twitter account. With a reach of more than 70,000 on Facebook and 119,000 on Twitter, social media has certainly proved to be a very effective communications tool throughout Storm Desmond. 

 

The local media also played a key role during Storm Desmond and Donegal County Council acknowledges the vital role played by local media in not only keeping people informed but in conveying important public safety messages which contributed in no small way to ensuring that there was no loss of life over the weekend.

 

With stormy conditions set to continue over the next few days, the Council is continuing to appeal to the public to be vigilant at all times and to take extra care when out on the roads.

 

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