English thanks emergency services, local Councils and most importantly community spirit and human kindness

Agher, Athboy, Ballinacree, Ballinlough, Ballivor, Bohermeen, Carnaross, Castlepollard, Clonard, Collinstown, Delvin, Dromone, Enfield, Farming, Fire Safety, Firefighters, Housing and Urban Renewal, Johnstown, Killyon, Longwood, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Oldcastle, Roads, Summerhill, Transport, Trim, Wesmeath

Monday, 5th March 2018

As the thaw well and truly sets in, and normal life begins to return
for the majority of our people, it would be wrong not to reflect on
the week gone by and thank those who did so much locally and
nationally during the most raw demonstration of nature’s power in our
generation.

I want to acknowledge and thank the exceptional work of local
emergency services like An Garda, Fire Services, Defence Forces and
Reserve Defence Forces, Ambulance and Hospital staff last week. i also
want to thank Meath and Westmeath County Councils – their staff, elected members and
contractors, and all of those who kept our roads open when safe to do
so, and who kept water and power supplies going or helped to restore
them if lost. As a once in a generation event Storm Emma really pushed
the resources of the State nationally and locally, and as a result so
many local people, especially our local farming community stepped into
the breach to our offer their expertise, experience and community
spirit in clearing local roads and local estates.

Community groups like Meath River Rescue joined the Civil Defence, Order of Malta, Red Cross, Gardai and many others in delivering emergency workers, carers and
home helps safely to work, and helping meals and wheels and other vital services to do their work with the oldest and most vulnerable in our society.

Local media  like LMFM, Midlands Radio, the Meath Chronicle and Westmeath Examiner online, and Social Media platforms were all crucial in keeping people informed.

As a member of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group I saw how the work of our emergency services, communities and media nationwide was equally exceptional. I also saw first hand the quality of the research and modelling done by Met Eireaann, who are second to none in Europe. Their early warnings early last week gave people time to organise supplies and make all necessary preparations.  We thank them for that too.

The work of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group was mirrored in every County by similar local groups, and Meath and Westmeath County Councils are to be congratulated for their leadership and team work of this group locally along with all the members groups and agencies.

The danger with saying thanks is that someone is left out, but that
never happens on purpose.  The gratitude of Meath West and the whole
country goes out to those who went above beyond the call of duty last
week, and put themselves in harm’s way in helping their community and
country.

Please continue to use common sense during the thaw and heed the
warnings on local media. Please watch out for potential flooding on
our roads and continue to stay safe.

ENDS

Minister English is urging Meath West constituents to make all necessary preparations now for snow this week

Meath, Navan, North Meath, Transport, Wesmeath

Monday, 26th February 2018

We are looking at very unusual weather events this coming week
according to local Meath West Fine Gael T.D. and Minister for Housing
and Urban Renewal Damien English.  He is urging local residents to
prepare now, and to keep a close eye and ear on Local and National
media, and Social Media.

According to Met Eireann it is likely Tuesday evening will see bands of
rain turning to snow with further accumulations for the rest of the
week. Some of the snow showers will be of prolonged duration.  The
forecasts are for extremely low temperatures this week.  High winds,
up to gale force strength later in the week could cause blizzards.

Make arrangements now

“This will be a very significant weather event and people need to
start making arrangements now to prepare for it. The advice to people
is to start preparing their homes now, so have extra batteries, fuel
and enough food in stock for the coming days. Please look in on older
or more vulnerable neighbours” stated Minister English.

Local Authorities

He continued “Nationally Government is working with the aim is to
coordinate the various Local Authorities and state or semi-state
bodies to help businesses and keep the country open as much as
possible. Local Authorities  have been asked to provide an update to
Government on their state of readiness to deal with the severe weather
on a county by county basis. Anyone planning to travel this week needs
to heed weather reports over the next few days.”

Salting

“The levels of salt available nationally is 120,000 tonnes. The normal
daily usage is 4-5,000 tonnes so the stocks are sufficient to meet
demand. Local authorities are managing these stocks. Motorways and
national roads will be prioritized. Driver behaviour will be an issue
this week and we need drivers to take care and slow down” Minister
English said.

School transport

“School transport system decisions will be made in line with ongoing
forecasts in each County. Code red snow levels in a County will lead
to school buses not running so schools will be closed in that
circumstance. Safety is to the fore in all decisions being made, and
school Principals and Boards of Management are asked to keep a close
eye on updates and guidance for their local area” stated Minister
English.

Rough Sleepers

Members of the public are also being asked to contact their local authority to report any rough sleepers that they have concerns about and any such cases will be followed up. In the Dublin region, members of the public can report cases of concern through the following weblink; http://www.homelessdublin.ie/report-rough- sleeper#1

Finally Minister English encouraged people to visit: www.winterready.ie

ENDS