Government promise that could have helped Mountmellick during floods not yet delivered on

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

mountmellick flooding

Evacuation in Mountmellick. Pic Kevin Byrne

A Government promise of a flood warning service, that could have helped Mountmellick in November, was not implemented but Met Éireann says it wants to start work on the project.

With Mountmellick recovers from a devastating floods, Met Éireann has launched a new strategy in which says it wants to start work on a flood warning service promised in 2016 by the Government.

Entitled ‘Make Ireland Weather and Climate Prepared’ – the plan aims to shift Met Éireann's focus to predicting the impact of weather. A key area is on flooding

"Since the beginning of the millennium Ireland has suffered a number of damaging flood events. In response, the Government made a decision in January 2016 to establish a National Flood Forecast and Warnings Service (NFFWS). The first phase in development of this service is the establishment of a national Flood Forecast Centre in Met Éireann," says the plan.

Met Éireann says it intends to engage with the Office of Public Works (OPW) and other stakeholders in the establishment  ensuring that the Flood Forecast Centre is delivered in a timely and efficient manner.

This will involve the acquisition and development of new skills and capacities, building a team of hydrometeorologists
and support staff, and the installation of related technical infrastructure.

"The operational delivery of national-level flood alerts and advisories will be enabled, providing the level of confidence in flood forecasts that is currently evident for Met Éireann’s weather forecast services and enhancing Ireland’s climate resilience with respect to flooding," it says said.

The strategy is built around 6 goals:

1. Moving to impact based services;

2. Providing enhanced climate services;

3. Establishing a new flood forecast service in support of the OPW;

4. Providing an effective authoritative voice on meteorology in Ireland;

5. Sustaining an expert, professional workforce;

6. Supporting Ireland’s meteorological infrastructure, and an enterprise environment for weather and climate services.

Met Éireann says it wants to make a big shift toward impact based forecasting.

"A paradigm shift from a forecast of what the weather will be to what the weather will do or cause to happen. This alignment of forecast information with hazard vulnerability will make it easier to make decisions or take actions to mitigate the
effects of high impact weather events," says the plan.

Met Éireann says the strategy is underpinned by Met Éireann’s core role as Ireland’s National Meteorological Service of helping society protect life and property, and is aimed at supporting economic and environmental resilience, and promoting wider societal wellbeing.

See strategy here