The Flood Disaster In Dublin. Fine Gael councillors give their analysis

Alert from MET Eireann

Report is an interim report data to be collected over the coming
weeks and months.5pages of background before the flood on Monday 24th
October is addressed.Has DCC an overall picture at this stage,2 weeks
later if not why not?

When was flood warning issued by MET Eireann 10.01pm or 10.01 am on
Sunday 23rd October?Warning refers to heavy rain expected from this
afternoon Sunday this implies warning was at 10am rather than
10pm.Were drainage staff on alert from 10am or 10pm on Sunday.

When exactly did DCC put its resources on alert to monitor water
levels in sea and rivers and link with HSE and Gardai ,how much
earlier than activation of major emergency plan? This is not clear
from the Report.
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Dear All,

This is my input to Ruairi’s docuement,Regards,Gerry

Emergency response by Dublin City Council

While any examination of the council’s response must bear in mind that
one months rainfall fell in one day Monday 24th October 2011,leesons
need to be learned.

The first question to be asked “were the recommendations by the
Communications Group relating to Emergencies put into effect?”.

Did the main city council number 01 2222222 default as the emergency
number after hours and how come the specified emergency number was not
answered and there was no message for the public calling.

The announcement of the emergency plan was put into operation until 8.15pm.

The Press Release/Media Coverage seemed to have Dublin City Council
blaming householders for cobblelocking driveways and building
extension.Was a singly press conference held on Tuesday 25th October
to brief all the media outlets in a single instance with a unified
well developed message?

Sandbags were not available and depots were not open when needed and
drainage staff stopped working at 3pm on the 24th.If and when were the
army and Civil Defence called into action?

2. Flooding

Many rivers eg Camac / Poddle being turned onto stormdrains

Infrastructure weak – retaining wall on Poddle in Harolds Cross gave way

Need to capture and categorise serious flood water heights now and to
feed these details into the city gully clearing schedule and for
longer term measures.These details should be publicished by the
council within 4 weeks.

3. Engineering

Climate change means that design criteria of 1 / 25 year events are
now 1 / 5 year event

This requires more drainage infrastructure and retrofitting of drainage schemes

A works program needs to be put together by Dublin City Council for
submission to Office of Public Works.

Use of newer / stronger water management techniques

Rivers cross local authority borders and measures taken upstream can
reduce water volumes downstream and a regional approach is needed.

4. Post floods

· Householders need to process insurance claims

· People who are uninsured need some relief

· Businesses who have been closed for 2 weeks need some relief

· Cleanup effort required

· Repair of broken walls

Resources

How long did it take to mobilise additional staff fron Drainage and
from Waste Management.

How many sandbags in storage and where,who decides to release them.

Areas Affected.

Did flood defences since last incident prove effective eg swale at Glendhu Park.

Communications

Dealt with by Gerry,however on going communications needed public has
little appreciation of the need to build effective flood
defences,public must appreciate that the threat is real and that
alterations to the physical environment may be needed in the interests
of the public good.Councillors need to act responsibility in
supporting the building of sustainable infrastructure and flood
defences.

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As requested I am setting out notes on main points to arise from
flooding episode and proposed responses

1. Emergency response

Response should have come earlier than 8.15pm
There is a need for greater water pumping capacity in any emergency response
Phone numbers that are appropriately manned required
There is a need for greater assistance with cleanup after event
Need for measures now , in event of repeat in 4 weeks
Drainage staff stopped working at 3pm on the 24th

2. Flooding

Many rivers eg Camac / Poddle being turned onto stormdrains
Infrastructure weak – retaining wall on Poddle in Harolds Cross gave way
Water flows creating water up to eighteen feet deep in places
Need to categorise flood water heights 8′ , 6′ , 4′ in different
places , 1′ sufficient to cause all floor boards to come up
At 6′ clear risk of loss of life
Culverting / Attenuation measures inadequate – urgent reassessment required
Stormdrain covers coming off in middle of road
Flooding occurred in new locations
Impact of blocked drains/ gullies / grilles
Canal flooding in addition to river flooding
Widespread car damage

3. Engineering
Climate change means that design criteria of 1 / 25 year events are
now 1 / 5 year event
This requires more drainage infrastructure and retrofitting of drainage schemes
A works program needs to be put together by DCC for submission to OPW
Use of newer / stronger water management techniques
Rivers cross local authority borders and measures taken upstream can
reduce water volumes downstream
Regional approach required

4. Post floods
Householders need to process insurance claims
People who are uninsured need some relief
Businesses who have been closed for 2 weeks need some relief
Cleanup effort required
Repair of broken walls

5. Impact
Loss of life – basement flat Parnell Road
People who have had to move out of houses
Property damage
Motor Vehicle
Financial losses

6. Plan required for short term i.e if immediate re-occurrance ,
medium term and longer term
Need to ensure that all areas of city have drainage infrastructure to
be insurable in future

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1. DCC categorised the flooding of the 24th of October as a once in a
century event. This is a meaningless concept.
2. The bursting of the Dodder banks was a major factor in the southeast area.
3. Main grievances of homeowners were the inability to contact DCC,
ESB, and fire service emergency numbers.
4. When I contacted civil defence, I was informed that they only
respond to emergencies. We need to have a definition of an emergency.
There must be a far greater role that civil defence can play in future
crises.
5. Areas with no history of flooding in Dublin Southeast were affected.
6. While overpaving and cobblelocking should be discouraged, they are
only a minor factor. The main factors are over development and
building in flood planes.
7. Areas around Pierce Square Dublin 2 which are now uninsurable are
adjacent to the new Grand Canal Square where 4000 new apartments were
built with a minimum spent on drainage.
8. Building flood defences in one area, for example Ringsend, flood
defence walls has led to the Dodder bursting its banks further
upstream.
9. Flood defences planned for Clontarf designed to protect the area
from inundation from the sea would have been of no help to the area on
Monday, 24th of October as the high tide was not a factor.
10. All new roads are designed to allow water drain off, but if the
surrounding land and drainage is at or beyond capacity, roads will
flood.
11. Vulnerable areas need to have supplies of sandbags in advance of
flooding events and homes should be encouraged to have a stockpile.