Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Flooding taskforce calls for action on lowering levels of Lough Erne

Michael Breslin in the Fermanagh Herald (Northern Ireland): In the week that the Fermanagh flooding taskforce met for the first time, in the Townhall, Enniskillen, a local assembly member, Tom Elliott, has called for increased spilling of water levels in Lough Erne.

Mr Elliott, who is the UUP's spokesman on agriculture, said that he recently received figures from DARD which confirmed that water spilling at Ballyshannon only took place when they are 6" on the Lower Lough and 1" on the Upper Lough below the highest statutory level.

"These levels must be lowered, and I feel that following the recent flooding, the case for doing so has become even stronger. A number of farmers and businesses found their land or access roads badly flooded last month resulting in the loss of market trading, and action is absolutely vital if such a scenario is to be prevented from happening again."

The high-powered taskforce meeting involved ministers from four government departments together with staff members. The taskforce has been charged with investigating the factors that contributed to the flooding here and come up with ways of dealing with the aftermath. For instance, it will examine the lessons that have been learned, identify longer-term planning issues and prepare measures to minimise the impact of further flooding….

The Upper Lough Erne near Fermanagh, shot by Stephen McKay, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License

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