The Council has described the emergency response as the one of largest ever undertaken by the local authority with hundreds of Council staff and emergency service personnel engaged throughout the City and County from the original emergency response to the ongoing clean-up operations.
Limerick Fire and Rescue Service responded to over 220 weather-related emergency incidents throughout Limerick in the 48 hour period following the storm. The majority of the incidents responded to by the Fire Service, backed by An Garda Siochána, related to fallen trees, structural damage to buildings and road traffic incidents.
Staff from the Council’s Roads, Environment, Housing and Parks Departments also assisted in clearing fallen trees and debris from local roads and public amenity areas and parks. Elsewhere, Limerick Civil Defence assisted the HSE in relocating patients from the University of Limerick Hospital to various other locations during the storm, while Water Services staff worked around the clock to restore water supplies to areas affected by power outages.
Mayor of Limerick Councillor Kathleen Leddin commented: “I want to acknowledge staff who were exemplary in their response to a wide variety of problems encountered throughout the city and county last week and during the weekend. They worked extremely hard to keep roads open, restore water supplies and ensure that assistance was available to anyone who needed it. Furthermore, I am delighted to see that throughout this period of severe weather that Council staff continued their extensive refurbishment works to 189 Limerick City properties affected by floodwaters on February 1st.”
Mayor Leddin said the regular participation of Council staff and the Emergency Services in cross-agency response exercises had enhanced their collective ability to respond more efficiently to major incidents”.
She explained: “Constant upskilling and training are key to most lines of work, but it is especially important in the case of emergency services and response teams. This was very evident from the response of all agencies, including the Council, last week.”
According to Cllr. John Sheahan, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council: “It is at times like these that people get to witness at first hand the professionalism and the commitment of Council staff and the Emergency Services. Along with An Garda Siochána, their response efforts were exemplary and are greatly appreciated by people across the city and county. Much of the work they carried out was undertaken in extremely challenging conditions and I have no doubt that their efforts ensured that the threat posed to property and indeed to life was minimised.”
“Last week’s severe storm, coupled with the flooding of early February in Limerick City, presented an unprecedented challenge for all emergency services personnel in Limerick. The collaborative emergency response put into action in recent weeks is a tribute to everyone involved,” he added.