Lessons to be learned following severe weather

Leitrim County Council Manager, Jackie Maguire, has acknowledged there are "lessons to be learned" from this year's unexpected cold spell, especially in relation to securing adequate salt supplies for our roads.

Leitrim County Council Manager, Jackie Maguire, has acknowledged there are "lessons to be learned" from this year's unexpected cold spell, especially in relation to securing adequate salt supplies for our roads.

Speaking at Monday's Budget meeting in response to a queries raised by Cllr Gordon Hughes and Cllr Sinead Guckian, Ms Maguire said that the NRA had believed there was sufficient salt stocks available but the weather had been so severe that stocks had been used faster than expected.

"I'd be of the opinion that we will face this type of weather scenario for the next number of years and we have to look at this year and see what we can learn from it," she admitted.

Senior Engineer, Shay O'Connor said the move to appoint the NRA to procure salt stocks nationally "was the right decision."

"Generally the bad weather has been in January and February and so the NRA planned to have every salt barn full by December 21st but unfortunately the weather came in November and this has put substantial pressure on stocks," he said. By the middle of December the Council had used 12,000 tonnes of salt, the total amount used in three months over Winter 2008.

"The main lesson to be learned here is that we have to have the storage stocks ready by the first of October, not the end of December. It hasn't been the case that Leitrim has been forgotten about by the NRA," he maintained despite massive criticism from the councillors present.

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