‘Country could have been better prepared for Storm Ali’

The country could have been better prepared for Storm Ali and a Status Red alert was warranted, according to Fianna Fail’s Eugene Murphy.

The TD for Roscommon/Galway – who also serves as the Fianna Fail spokesperson on flood relief and the OPW (Office of Public Works) – noted that many roads were left impassible and thousands of businesses were left without power or water as a result of Storm Ali’s gusts.

I would question whether in fact a Status Red alert should have been issued for Storm Ali, as there seems to have been significantly more damage caused than the previous storms Ophelia and Emma.

He also highlighted the fact that there has been very slow movement on the establishment of a national flood forecasting and warning service.

“A steering group has been set up in relation to a national flood forecasting and warning service; and even though it has met on 16 occasions, it seems to be moving at an extremely slow place and it is anticipated that it will take five years before it is fully operational, which seems to beggar belief.

“It will also require a full staffing complement of 15 full-time posts, yet Met Eireann has only appointed two staff members to date to the project,” he said.