Statement from the National Emergency Coordination Group on Storm Jorge
Statement from the National Emergency Coordination Group on Severe Weather
Published on Sunday 01 March 2020
A National Emergency Coordination Group meeting, was held today (Sunday, 01 March 2020), chaired by Minister Damien English, to review the impact of Storm Jorge and receive feedback from all key stakeholders on impacts, responses and ongoing issues.
The NECG has met three times since Friday to fully assess and prepare for the potential impact and threats posed by Storm Jorge, which arrived following a period of prolonged rain and flooding.
The Department’s National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) Crisis Management Team has been meeting daily and working with Met Éireann, OPW, local authorities the Defence forces and other Government Departments and agencies daily for the last number of weeks to support the local authority response to flooding and the prolonged period of severe weather experienced, compounded by storm Jorge and its impact.
As predicted Storm Jorge impacted the West coast from early yesterday morning, before moving across the country in line with Met Éireann forecasts. This follows the wettest February on record at many Met Éireann stations. Storm Jorge brought some very strong winds, with heavy rainfall with some localised heavy downpours reported. High sea surges were also experienced along the Atlantic coast with some resulting in limited coastal flooding.
Thankfully, due to the public heeding public safety messaging, there were no major reported incidents or injuries to members of the public or the emergency services. There was also very little damage or destruction of property.
Flooding continues to affect many areas with river catchments responding to the prolonged period of heavy rainfall with some houses and businesses impacted which continue to be threatened by flood waters, although current indications are that most catchments have stabilised or are falling.
Local authorities worked with local Gardaí, Coast Guard, Civil Defence and other agencies ensuring the public were aware of the threats locally. All necessary mitigating actions such as road closures in coastal areas were implemented. The Local Authority supported the local communities along with the Defence Forces to maintain 24/7 pumping flood defence operations in some areas, especially along the Shannon catchment. Actions taken to mitigate the impact of flooding included the installation of temporary flood defences, making and dispensing sandbags, pumping operations, public information campaigns, clearing gullies and clearing other contributors to flooding.
The Minister stated as follows:
“I would like to thank all Local Authorities and other agencies who continue to be active in their respective areas supporting the work of local communities in challenging conditions since late January. I would also like to thank all the State Bodies who once again came together to deliver a clear consistent public safety message which ensured that storm Jorge passed without significant incident.”