Flood response under fire

Cllr. John Campbell says questions need to be answered after what he believes was an inadequate response to last Friday’s flooding.

He has called council officials to explain why fire engines and pumps were not dispatched to protect properties in Donegal town from flooding on Friday morning.

He told the Democrat: “Residents told me they rang 999 between 6 and 7am, other people in town said they rang the guards, but nothing was done. This was at a point when measures could have been taken to prevent damage to their properties. Yet when I arrived in the town at 8.30am, fire crews still had not begun pumping and did not appear to have access to sand bags. It is my understanding that they were responding to a fire alarm at the tourist office being set off by the flooding.

“The flooding was severe, 3-4 feet high inside the Methodist Church Hall, with businesses and houses in Castle Street and Waterloo street also flooded. At the other end of town, the water covered the entire Quay parking area, the tourist office and went right across the road as far as the barracks.”

A council spokesperson told the Democrat yesterday that fire brigades are “mandated to respond to calls of flooding where there is a danger to life”. Flooding on roads, if not life-threatening, is handled by DCC Roads Services. Calls to 999 for the fire service here are managed in Castlebar. If the flooding poses a risk to life, the Fire Brigade will be mobilised. If several calls are received regarding serious flooding in one area, the Rostered Senior Fire Officer decides whether the fire brigade should respond. The council’s roads staff distributed sand bags in Donegal Town Friday morning and afternoon.




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