Displaying items by tag: Storm
#MarineWildlife - Baby seals injured in the recent severe weather have been rendered homeless after their sanctuary in Dingle was destroyed in last week's Storm Darwin.
As the Irish Independent reports, the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary is dealing with what amounts to a double catastrophe, picking up the pieces of its storm-ravaged facilities while caring for unprecedented numbers of injured marine mammals.
"We have seals coming in who are essentially being thrown off rocks, so they have experienced severe trauma, with broken bones and bruises," said animal operation manager Ally McMillan - who added that among those that have survived, many require surgery, with four already in intensive care.
The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.
Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine made the following Dail Statement today about the programme to repair publically owned fishery and aquaculture related piers, slips and infrastructure in harbours damaged by recent storm events:
The Irish coastline has, since December last been subject to a series of extreme storm events which has caused significant damage to the infrastructure of many of our harbours, piers and slips. At this point we are aware of damage to over 100 piers, harbours and slipways and other coastal infrastructure linked to fisheries and aquaculture. We are also acutely aware that there is a likelihood that these storms, the latest of which first hit the west coast early this morning, may continue over the next week or so causing further damage. The situation therefore continues to evolve.
I have been working closely with my Ministerial colleagues in cabinet, in evaluating the overall extent of the damage. My Department was represented on the National Coordination Group on Severe Weather, convened to assess the impact of the storms on infrastructure and communities and to ensure a co-ordinated response by relevant local authorities, Government Departments and Agencies.
While my Department has a key role to play in relation to the Governments response on damage to fishery and aquaculture related piers, harbours and slipways right around the coast the Office of Public Works retains overall responsibility for the Government response in relation to coastal erosion, coastal defence and flood defence projects generally.
As you are aware most of the Harbours and Piers around the coast that have been adversely affected by the recent storms are owned by the relevant Local Authority and responsibility for their repair and maintenance rests with those Authorities in the first instance.
That being said, I am acutely aware of the dependence a large proportion of the Irish fishing fleet, particularly our 1900 strong inshore fleet has on the network of Local Authority and Department owned piers and harbours around our coast.
My Department maintains the harbours in its direct ownership and has run a limited programme in recent years co-funding the repair and upgrade of Local Authority harbours linked to Fisheries & Aquaculture sectors.
I am delighted to say that, as part of it's overall co-ordinated response to the impacts of the recent unprecedented weather conditions, the Government yesterday decided to allocate an additional €8.8m for the repair of our publically owned pier and harbour and slipway network linked to Fisheries and Aquaculture.
This is a significant amount of money given current economic circumstances and is a clear indication of this Governments commitment to rural coastal communities dependent on this infrastructure and the wider fishing sector
While it is difficult to be definitive at this stage, as I stated at the outset my engineers following extensive consultation with Local Authorities, currently estimate that there are just over 100 such projects where significant damage has been sustained across 9 counties.
In light of the additional funds now available, it is my intention to immediately broaden the remit of my Departments 2014 capital programme, to encompass to the greatest extent possible repair works on publically owned, fishery and aquaculture related piers, slips and infrastructure in harbours damaged by the storms.
With that in mind, I will be inviting Local Authorities in the coming days to follow up on their estimates of damage by applying for funding under this programme indicating their prioritised list of eligible projects on a county by county basis for consideration for funding for repair of the damage caused by the recent storms.
This funding will be focussed on infrastructural repairs to fisheries and aquaculture related harbours, piers and slipways. A number of other general criteria, similar to those attached to the previous scheme will continue to apply, however in the current circumstances I am removing the upper limit of €150,000 grant aid per project which has previously applied.
In addition to the funding to be provided to Local Authorities, my Department will be moving to repair storm damage to piers, harbours and coastal infrastructure in its direct ownership. This will include moving as quickly as possible to repair the significant storm damage to North Harbour in Cape Clear, to the Dunmore East Fishery Harbour Centre in County Waterford, to the Gun Rock Beacon in Inishbofin, County Mayo, West Cove Navigational beacon in County Kerry and Dooagh pier in County Mayo.
An evaluation committee will consider the eligibility of all applications submitted by Local Authorities and advise on the eligibility and priority of the projects submitted on the basis of overall priorities and the total budget available. I will then consider this overall submission and decide which projects are approved under this programme.
I will be keeping the situation under ongoing review and will be working closely with other Departments, Agencies and the Local Authorities to ensure that the damage to the fisheries and aquaculture related piers and harbours infrastructure is addressed in an effective and efficient manner, as quickly as possible bearing in mind the total level of funds available.
I hope that this quick response from Government will address the storm damage to this vital public infrastructure and limit the damage to the local economy.
In addition to the damage caused to piers, harbours and coastal infrastructure, Bord Iascaigh Mhara has advised me that there have been consistent reports from around the coast to their local officers of loss or destruction of lobster and shrimp pots during the extreme winter storm events.
While I am aware that some loss of pots is normal at this time of year, I believe that the scale of losses this year is exceptional. I understand that pots deployed in shallower waters have been most affected, but what perhaps makes this year more exceptional has been the loss of pots stored on quaysides, which would normally be considered secure from winter storm damage. Reports indicate that many pots were washed off piers by the ferocity of waves and either destroyed or swept out to sea.
The pot fishermen affected by these losses are small scale coastal fishermen. The vast majority of vessels are under 10 metres in length and many are open or just half decked vessels. In many cases they are crewed by the owner or perhaps one other crew member. These fishermen primarily fish lobster, crab and other shellfish.
With the loss of pots, these fishermen's means of making a living is severely threatened. If they cannot replace their lost pots and return to fishing, they risk being added to the long term unemployed.
In considering assistance to these pot fishermen for their losses, I am conscious that it is not possible to obtain insurance to cover loss of pots. So, I am happy to announce today a
temporary, one-off scheme of assistance to these pot fishermen for the replacement of lobster and shrimp pots lost or destroyed in the recent extreme storm events.
The Scheme is focussed on smaller inshore fishermen and will be limited to vessels under 15 metres and will be administered by BIM. It will provide a set amount of €24 per lost lobster pot lost and €12 per lost shrimp pot. These amounts represent circa 40% of the cost of replacement of such gear.
While I am conscious that some pot fishermen have reported losing several hundred pots, I believe those are exceptional cases. I am therefore capping the number of replacement pots at 50 for under 12 metre vessels and 100 for under 15 metre vessels. So a fisherman who has lost 100 pots at a replacement cost of approximately €6,000 will receive assistance of €2,400.
Fishermen availing of this scheme will be required to provide certain evidence to BIM to show that they were actively pot fishing in the months before the storms and evidence of purchase of the pots that were lost. In addition, they will be required to make a sworn declaration concerning their losses.
I am setting aside a maximum budget within my Department for this scheme of €1.5 million, to be borne by the existing Vote of my Department. No additional funding will be made available, so I would stress that should applications exceed this budget, the rate of assistance will be reduced, either in terms of the amount of payment per pot or in terms of the maximum number of pots.
Further details of this Scheme will be made available from BIM shortly.
I think that Deputies will see that with this response of total funding of €8.8m to address damage to piers harbours and slipways linked to fisheries and aquaculture and further funding of up to €1.5m for assistance to the inshore sector towards the cost of purchasing replacement pots to replace pots damaged by the storms the Government is taking very significant steps to address the impact of the storms in these specific areas.
#orangealert – Members of the public have been urged to heed the advice of An Garda Síochána and the Coast Guard as Met Éireann issues an orange alert for Gale warning and a yellow alert for risk of localised flooding.
An Garda Síochána and Coast Guard particularly appeal to parents/guardians with children to use common sense and not to place their loved ones in danger.
Exercise great care on exposed piers, cliff walks and waterways prone to flooding and swift flowing water during the stormy weather over the coming weekend and next week.
Superintendent David Taylor, Garda Press Officer, said: "People need to recognise the destructive and dangerous power of nature and exercise extreme caution when close to areas such as cliff walks, harbours, rivers and lakes."
Coast Guard Chief of Operations Eugene Clonan said: "It is important for parents to be especially vigilant over the next few days and use common sense when taking children out near the coast or inland water ways".
#Surfing - Just weeks after the 'black swell' that brought surfers in their hundreds to the West of Ireland's top surfing spots, Surfer Today reports that its sequel storm system is in the making over the Atlantic.
Taking a more direct route than the devastating Winter Storm Hercules (or Christine as it was better known here in Ireland), the new weather system known as Storm Brigid is "on a steady eastern track" towards Europe.
And the respective southwest coasts of Ireland and England are expected to bear the brunt of its force, with waves of up to 40 feet predicted.
The news comes in the same week that Donegal recorded its biggest ever surf in the form of an 80-foot monster wave dubbed 'Growlers'.
However, like earlier this month, even the hardiest waveriders won't be taking their chances till the severe conditions turn down a notch!
#Storm - A special report on the extent of damage caused by the recent storms in Galway City has estimated the cost of repairs at more than three-quarters of a million euro, according to Galway Bay FM.
The figure includes estimated costs of repairing footpaths and public use facilities damaged by the extreme winds and flooding experienced citywide - and in particular the beaches and promenade at Salthill, which more the brunt of the Atlantic swells and high tides.
In addition, repairs to Leisureland in the seaside suburb are pegged at half a million euro alone.
Further down the West coast in the storm-ravaged Clare town of Lahinch, The Irish Times reports that a start-up surf school has had a horrendous start to the year, losing its van to the floodwaters that caused significant and expensive damage to the promenade.
#Waves - TheJournal.ie has compiled some of the most breathtaking images of the exceptional waves that crashed on the coastlines of Western Europe from Ireland to Britain to France and Portugal over the past week.
The incredible swells saw surfing pros flock in their hundreds to big wave hotspots like Mullaghmore Head in Co Sligo, where regular visitor Andrew Cotton was filmed riding the monsters churned up by the recent Atlantic storms.
#Flooding - Seaside residents in the popular surfing spot of Lahinch in Co Clare were evacuated yesterday (3 January) after massive swells driven by strong storm-force winds encroached half a kilometre inland.
Aside from flooding homes throughout the town, the storm surges collapsed metal fencing on the shorefront and sent concrete wall cappings some 50 metres across the promenade car park.
Nearby, part of the old pier in Liscannor were destroyed by the violent wind and wave action, while the 150-year-old base of the Irish Coast Guard's Doolin unit was also damaged, with the road leading from the base to the pier broken up.
Elsewhere in the country, records were broken in Dublin as the River Liffey saw its highest ever tide, breaking its banks near Heuston Station yesterday afternoon.
The Irish Independent reports that Wolfe Tone Quay and Victoria Quay were closed for an hour while Dublin City Council workers pumped the floodwaters from the roads.
In the coastal suburb of Clontarf - the worst-hit area of the capital, experiencing its worst flooding in a decade - seafront businesses were spared when floodwaters stopped just metres from their doors.
Meanwhile, Galway and Cork remain on high alert as high tide brings floodwaters to city streets, with the Salthill Promenade still a no-go area.
#marinesafety – Irish Water Safety is warning the public that to stay safe they must stay away from the edges of waterways during storm conditions that are even more dangerous due to heavy rain, strong gale force winds and high tides.
Fast rising flood water is very powerful and often hides the dangers of exposed drains, exposed manhole covers and submerged objects. No driver or pedestrian should take a chance passing through flooded roadways. Parents should caution children that small flooded streams are very fast and that floodwater hides true water depths.
What should I do when I hear a Flood Warning?
1. Listen to the national and local radio for met eireann updates. Click on
http://www.flooding.ie/en/ for further information.
2. Check on neighbours particularly if they are elderly, infirmed or families with young children.
3. Move your vehicles to higher ground.
4. Move animal stock to higher ground.
5. Check your small craft to ensure they are well secured or moored, consider taking them up on a
trailer for safety.
6. Make sure you have warm clothes, food, drink, a torch and radio.
7. Block doorways and airbricks with sandbags or plastic bags filled with earth. Floodgate products
will work effectively also.
8. Switch off gas and electricity supplies if flooding is imminent.
9. Check the time of High Water in the Newspaper or at www.irishtides.ie
1. Avoid flood waters at all times.
2. Carry a mobile phone at all times in case you need to call for help - call 112 in emergency.
3. Wear suitable protective clothing & a Lifejacket in on or around water.
4. Never try to swim through fast flowing water.
5. Never put your feet down if swept away.
6. Flooding on roads will be deeper at dips and around bridges.
7. Stay away from sea and flood defences.
8. When walking or driving, be aware of manhole covers and gratings that may have been moved
due to the heavy flow of water.
9. Take care when using electric appliances in damp or flood conditions.
10. Remember that during the hours of darkness the dangers are multiplied.
#storm – Met Eireann have issued a 'status red' weather warning for Western and Northwestern counties, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.
Storms will develop later today, with strong south to southwest winds expected over those counties, with damaging gusts of 120 to 150 km/h this afternoon and evening. This will also lead to very high seas.
#storm – Ireland is bracing itself for a fast aproaching southwest gale or strong gale at first this evening on coasts from Loop Head to Fair Head to Roches Point and on the Irish Sea according to Met Eireann. The state forecaster who has issued a status orange alert says northwest or cyclonic gale to storm force winds expected for a time tonight in the South Irish Sea. The forecast follows a Coastguard warning to the public to be careful on exposed westerly coasts, cliffs, piers, harbour walls, beaches, and promenades.
West to Northwest gales are expected to develop later tonight and tomorrow morning on all sea areas; with winds increasing to strong gale force at times tomorrow afternoon on coasts from Wicklow Head to Loop Head to Fair Head and on the South Irish Sea.