The Chamber held a further discussion this evening with the Council on the latest position regarding the response to the catastrophic flooding in Newry City Centre.
At this stage, the priority remains the protection of life and property and we would stress to business owners to continue to abide by the following guidance:
- Do not enter flooded premises in any circumstances
- Do not attempt to turn off electric in flooded premises
- Await further instructions from the relevant agencies
The Council confirmed that the next priority was to get past the high tide due at 1:22am on Wednesday morning. They are working with all the partner agencies to maximise the protection of life and property.
We were informed that The Rivers Agency has delivered sandbags to businesses in those areas most at risk. There has been a significant demand for sandbags through the day and The Rivers Agency has prioritised those areas most at risk.
The Chamber again stressed the urgent need for compensation for those local businesses affected given the scale of the sheer destruction caused by the flooding overnight. The Council’s CEO, Marie Ward confirmed she has now raised this at the Executive level.
The Council also confirmed that it is coordinating the operation of the sluice gates at Victoria Lock in line with The Rivers Agency advice and had been doing so throughout Monday night and they will continue to do so throughout this emergency situation.
It is important to note, that the sluice gates are located within the lock infrastructure and are operated independently of the actual Lock Gates.
The Council recognise the desire of the businesses affected to access their premises and begin clearance recovery. Once it is safe to do so, they will work with all of those businesses affected and help with this process.
The need for a longer-term solution is now urgent and as a Chamber, we believe tackling the infrastructure underinvestment in Newry can no longer be ignored.
The Chamber will issue a further update when it becomes available. If you require any assistance in the meantime, please contact us via email@example.com.