Staff at Leisureland in Salthill which had been flooded with sea water during last week’s storm have been working tirelessly on the clean up operation with the power set to be restored in the next few days.
As superstorm Christine raged last Thursday into Friday morning heavy swells drove sea water across the Promenade and into Leisureland, completely flooding the pool and tank room area as well as filling the gym with up to two and half feet of water. The only areas that remained unscathed were the main hall, the upper deck, and the restaurant. The facility was also plunged into darkness after the power to the electrical panels were damaged. Fire crews were called to tackle a blaze and more flooding issues in the underground section of the complex.
Galway City West councillor and chairman of the Leisureland board of directors Donal Lyons told the Advertiser yesterday that the main focus at the moment is on restoring the power to the facility before the full extent of the damage and the cost to carry out repairs can be assessed.
Outlining what happened as a result of the storm Cllr Lyons said: “The power to the electrical panels was damaged because of the water and it had to be switched off. An ESB crew came in to hose down the station in the main control room as it had over heated and they worked over the weekend to restore power to the ESB substation. Power will be restored gradually on a phased basis to ensure that no further damage is caused to the electrical panels and an assessment will be carried out by engineers.
“The pool area - the baby, toddler, and main pools - was contaminated by the sea water. It will have to be drained and this will be done on a phased basis because of the pressure on the pipes. This can’t be done until full power has been restored. The gym area is of most concern, there is a lot of equipment which has suffered extensive flood damage. It will be the one area that will be out of commission for a long period.”
Cllr Lyons said that general manager Paddy Martin and the staff have been working tirelessly on the clean up operation but this has been hindered by the fact that the power is still not on so the main focus is on restoring the power. He added that the board has not been in a position to see what damage had been caused to the combined heat and power plant, which was installed last year with the aid of a €400,000 Government grant, and that an estimate of the overall cost of repairs and the clean up operation is not known at present.
Each electrical panel and apparatus will have to be tested fully and assessed by electrical engineers before the ESB will supply power. Insurance company representatives have also visited the complex over the past few days to carry out their assessment.
A schools swimming gala had to be moved to Longford because of the damage to the complex, however, Cllr Lyons has confirmed that a wedding fair which was meant to be held last weekend has been rescheduled and will go ahead this weekend in the main hall which was not affected by the flood and will have power. He added that the restoration of power to the rest of the complex will be completed in the next couple of days and that management are doing everything they can to facilitate patrons and gym members.