Engineer hits back at claims of warning system failure
on 02/07/2012 00:00:00
Noel O'Keeffe said: "It is complete and utter nonsense that the system didn't function properly last Thursday. In the middle of the night it was warning low yellow, which is a low risk of minor flooding, while at 5am it was changed to high yellow, which is a high risk of minor flooding".
Mr O'Keeffe said the system presents early warnings of flooding from the river and not from drains.
However, local flood action groups are now calling on Cork County Council to change the system to ensure that "people on the ground" are in charge of the emergency communications.
"The failure of the [warning system] to operation had huge ramifications. Despite Met Éireann's weather warning, the emergency services were not prepared for the events that took place," said Maria Mc Laughlin of Bandon Flood Relief Committee.
Mr O'Keeffe said that locals could not operate the system as "it requires a high degree of technical skill".
According to the Bandon Flood Relief Committee, a number of gaps in the town's flood prevention measures were detected last week, such as the ongoing need to clean out drainage systems and ensure they are functioning properly.
According to Ms McLaughlin, a number of businesses and residences on New Rd were flooded as the drains along the new wall did not operate properly.
There was also about 1m of flooding around the mart, possibly from blocked culverts, while last week's rains once again raised the issue of improving drainage capacity on the Kilbrittan road.
"We are calling on politicians and local authority officials to ensure these issues are addressed. We are also urging people to attend the last day of consultation at the Town Hall on Tuesday afternoon," she said.
Mr O'Keeffe said that any flooding that occurred on the Kilbrittan road was due to a small stream by the GAA pitch overflowing.