Irwin calls for strategic response on flooding

Posted by
info@newrytimes.com
Monday, November 17th, 2014
Community, Politics
Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has said that much more strategic preparation is required by Departments with responsibility for flood management. He made the call after significant flooding events throughout Newry & Armagh caused damage to shops and homes in the area. He stated, “It is very frustrating for those who have suffered damage to their properties and livelihoods as a result of the flooding and particularly in Newry where Bridge Street was swamped with flood water.” “Some of these areas have flooded in the past and that makes it all the more frustrating as the public expect the agencies with responsibility for flood prevention such as the Department for Regional Development and the Rivers Agency through DARD to have put the necessary works in place to deal with the potential for flooding and prevent the damage occurring again. “This has obviously not been the case and questions must be asked of both DRD and DARD.” He continued, “I have heard of calls for a Cobra style response committee to be set up on flooding, however that will be of little benefit to the home owners and businesses who have suffered over the past few days. “Rather than create additional tiers of bureaucracy in the longer term, in the immediate future I would like see the departments with responsibility spell out exactly how they will now use their resources to prevent this happening again.” “Minister Kennedy MLA announced in recent times that he was reducing gully cleaning and drain clearing services and that looks to have been a very poor and ill-advised decision in light of the countless incidences of flooding right across the constituency where roads have been blocked and people inconvenienced. Irwin added, “This is the sort of preventative work that needs to be undertaken routinely in order to avoid a repeat of what we witnessed last week. I would also like to see a full report on why the flooding occurred in Bridge Street and what can be done to prevent this happening again.”

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