I found the response of Roads Service and Council to the tidal surge on Friday good in most Lecale Villages WITH 2 EXCEPTIONS
1. The Roads Service would not help Coney Island as the road is deemed ‘private’ (this basically means the road is just a track) – the sea wall is partly breached in two places. So it seemed to me that the Council must protect ratepayers in Coney Island before going to the assistance of the Roads Service in other areas – but they had no assistance on Friday from anyone. Sadly when I phoned emergency duty manager Michael Lipsett as the manager in charge of response, he did not agree, so I have tabled the following NOTICE OF MOTION for the next Council meeting.
“That the Councils emergency plan for dealing with floods and other emergencies will be amended to deal with the protection of ratepayers in areas that other agencies are unable to provide assistance.
For instance Roads Service is unable to provide flood protection to Coney Island during tidal surges. It should therefore be the priority of the Council to ensure that these few areas be attended to first, before going to the assistance of other agencies.”
I spend several hours on Saturday trying to get some bags for Coney Island ahead of Sunday. As of 4pm today I had nothing but expressions of annoyance from the PSNI and the English-based help line that NI Councils were not answering their telephone numbers today ahead of Sundays surge. There were apparently many more like me seeking a few sandbags. I passed on my complaints and these other complaints to council management. Eventually on Saturday evening at 4.34 M Lipsett wrote out acknowledging these complaints and asking people to follow the councils ansafones directions.
In advance of Sunday, I have asked the council to give me sufficient sand bags to fill the two holes at Coney Island – the first one would take 10 sand bags, and maybe 15 for the second one.
2. Assistance arrived too late Strangford Village and several premises were left flooded out unnecessarily, and then the Roads Service lorry left too early leaving the Council lorry with too few sandbags to satisfy demand – presumably we can get the timings right on Sunday – I have contacted flood relief to make sure there is a more timely response here for the next 2 days especially Sunday.
Elsewhere, There were plenty of dramatic images with the football pitch at Killough being under water and the bridge over Station Road between Killough and Ardglass being partly washed away on the Killough side
I was impressed with the Roads Service helping (in particular) Fishermans Row in Killough