Emergency Flood Plan Proposals
Bray Town Council does not have an Emergency Flood Plan in case of major flooding, as of 14th June, 2006. Nor is flooding mentioned in Wicklow County Council's Emergency Plan. Yet the imminent danger of flooding - and Pizarro's willingness to pay for flood protection works, provided they are allowed to build on the flood plain - has been cited as the main reason why Fianna Fail, Labour and Fine Gael councillors voted to rezone the flood plain...
At our Public Meeting on 29th May, 2006, our community put together the following suggestions for a draft Flood Emergency Plan. This document was sent on 13th June, 2006, to Cllr. John McManus, chairperson of Bray Town Council's Community, Cultural, Social and Environmental Municipal Policy Committee. Cllr. McManus had already undertaken, on behalf of his committee, to preparing such a plan, and we have asked for community involvement in its speedy completion and implementation.
Little Bray Community - Suggestions for Emergency Flood Plan:
In our accompanying e-mail to the above committee, we added:
"In addition to the immediate compilation of the Emergency Plan, we were asked to bring to your attention that the Dargle River channel urgently needs cleaning, de-silting, widening and deepening, as per your Council's commitment. This is the time of the year, according to the Barry Report, when such work should take place.
"It was also proposed at our Public Meeting that non-return valves should be put in place on all sewerage works in our area to prevent the upsurge of sewerage that took place during the last flood, before the river topped its banks."
Concerns about the lack of an emergency plan were graphically illustrated at our Public Meeting by a senior resident of the one-storey Maitland Street cottages. Mrs. Vickers explained that she had telephoned the Council's emergency phone line during recent heavy rain, on a night when the river was dangerously high, and was told that "no sandbags would be available till morning".
Cllr. John Brady, who attended the meeting, added that he had been informed by a council official that the reason the hut by the harbour was not available - as promised - to a local youth group was because it is used to store sandbags. He was then told by another official that sandbags are not, and never were, stored there. Where are the sandbags if we need them tonight in a flood...?
Meanwhile, if there are any other communities out there - or people involved in fighting floods - who can suggest how our Emergency Plan might be improved, we would be delighted to hear from you at the e-mail address below. We will pass on any suggestions received to Bray Town Council's Community, Cultural, Social and Environmental Municipal Policy Committee, as well as publishing them on this page.