Council chiefs slammed for 48hr wait to act on Ophelia ‘Red Alert’

Salthill Promenade flooded during Storm Ophelia. PHOTO: PAUL O'BRIEN.

Local residents and business owners have launched a stinging attack on Galway City Council management’s handling of Ex-Hurricane Ophelia – after the local authority decided not to supply sandbags.

Despite being inundated with calls – and a ‘Status Red’ weather warning being declared by Met Éireann on Saturday lunchtime – the Council did not issue its own alert until 10am on Monday, just one hour before it conceded Salthill Promenade needed to be closed.

Paul O’Brien, whose family has lived in Western House since the 1960s said: “They should have been prepared over the weekend. Everyone in Salthill knows that when there’s a storm, flooding depends on tide, rain and wind direction, but this was different, sandbags should have been deployed over the weekend.

“We did not get any (sandbags), we had our own from the last time around. The Council crews were great when they were out and about during the day. The problem is the Council management, they just didn’t prepare for it, even with the warning in place.”

A spokesperson for the Council said it relied on its own expertise, as well as information from Met Éireann and other agencies, and its crews deployed sandbags on Monday morning “as required”.

For extensive coverage and photos of the Ophelia aftermath in Galway, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.