Repair bill jumps for storm damage jumps by €9 million

As the weeks move on after superstorm Christine, the bill for the repair and future protection of Mayo’s coastline has continued to rise as the damage to public infrastructure continues to be assessed by Mayo County Council. The new total for the repair and upgrade of the public infrastructure in the county is €13,490,000, up from the first estimate of €4.5 million which was given in mid-January.

Director of services for Mayo County Council, Martin Keating gave a briefing to the elected members of the council at Monday’s meeting of the local authority on the latest update. The latest update included a figure of €6,570,000 for the strengthening of coastal protection around the county and €4,205,000 for the repair of the existing coastal protection in Mayo.

The new estimate for clean-up works around the shoreline in the county is now at €524,000, while a figure of €1,620,000 will need to be spent on the public road network to get things back up to scratch. Almost €400,000 is expected to be spend on piers and harbours following the damage and close to another €200,000 will have to be spent to get the tourism infrastructure back up and running.

Mr Keating said that new assessments and reports were continuing to come in all the time and that it was important to remember that this is just a report on the public infrastructure and does not include damage to any private property.

There were calls from some councillors to ensure that the entire coastline would be protected going on into the future. County manager Peter Hynes pointed out that Mayo has 81km of coastline and it would be impossible to protect it all and the decisions would have to be made in certain areas.

Ballina area councillors Gerry Ginty and Annie May Reape told the meeting that while most of the damage was in coastal areas, Ballina had been hit by flooding caused by the storm because of the tidal nature of the River Moy. Cllr Reape called for a full engineering report on the river walls and the towns flood defences to be carried out. The councillors said they would be kept updated on the situation on an ongoing basis.

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