Storm damage costs faced by authorities

Published date: 13 January 2014 |
Published by: Robert Doman 
Read more articles by Robert Doman  Email reporter


THE REGION may have escaped the worst of the storms, but councils have revealed they will incur some costs resulting from damage.

North Wales has been battered by gale force winds and high tides in recent weeks, with areas of coastline devastated and causing flooding and evacuations.

Across Wales, councils have been left counting the cost with it estimated several million pounds worth of damage being caused.

Rough seas and poor weather conditions continue to hamper a full evaluation of the devastation caused but the final repair bill is expected to place significant financial pressure on already stretched council finances in the worst hit areas.

Wrexham and Flintshire got off relatively lightly in comparison, but some infrastructure damage has resulted along with breaches to flood defences.

However, repair costs to both councils are not expected to be significantly high.

Don Norris, civil contingencies manager at Flintshire Council, said: “The council incurred no immediate additional costs to its sea defence infrastructure as a result of the recent storms, although there was some damage to a Network Rail owned embankment at Mostyn and an embankment in Bagillt which is also in private ownership.

“We are aware of the minister’s review into the North Wales coastal flooding and are already working with Natural Resources Wales in order to contribute to this study in looking at areas, such as the Talacre dunes, where defences can be strengthened and the coastline further protected.

“Although there will be some minor additional costs incurred in responding to the storms, such as a slight loss of income at the leisure centres used for a short time as rest centres, these can be absorbed. Streetscene staff directly involved in the response to the storms were temporarily diverted from other Streetscene service areas and no additional costs were incurred by the council.”

A spokesman for Wrexham Council said: “In Wrexham we were very fortunate to escape the catastrophic effects the recent weather brought.

“However there will have been infrastructure damage to some extent given the amount of wind and rain we did experience and the backlog of investment in maintenance work.

“We do not have a headline event such as we have seen in Aberystwyth for example, but we can say with some certainty there will be implications – the cost of which is not known at this moment in time.”

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