FLOODING TASKFORCE Office of the First Minister and Deputy

Document Sample
FLOODING TASKFORCE Office of the First Minister and Deputy Powered By Docstoc
					FLOODING TASKFORCE 





Report of the Flooding Taskforce on the 

Fermanagh Flooding of November 2009 




OFMDFM 

July 2010

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Flooding Taskforce is grateful to the people of Fermanagh who gave
freely of their time and energies to detail to us the impact the November 2009
flooding had on them, as well as sharing their wider views and concerns about
flooding in the Fermanagh area. Without the input of the local community
obtained through the evidence gathering sessions and the many written
submissions made, this report would not have been possible.


The Taskforce would also like to express its gratitude to Fermanagh District
Council for all of their help and advice and in particular for facilitating the
evidence gathering sessions in Enniskillen and Lisnaskea.




                                          2

CONTENTS



                                                                       Page
1.     Executive Summary
        	                                                               5      



2.     Introduction
         	                                                              11         



3.     Background
        	                                                               13         



4.     Methodology
        	                                                               16         



5. 	   Review of the Fermanagh Flooding by the Rivers                   18 

       Agency of the Department of Agriculture and Rural 

       Development            



6.     Taskforce Findings
       	


          (i)          Impacts of the Flooding      	                   21



          (ii)         Issues Raised	                                   30         



7.     Conclusions
        	                                                               58         



8.     Recommendations
        	                                                               61         





List of Annexes


Annex 1          List of Taskforce members 

Annex 2          Data on levels of Lough Erne during 2009 

Annex 3          Rivers Agency Report – Fermanagh Flooding of 2009 





                                        3

4

1. 	    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


The Fermanagh Flooding of October 2009
1.1 	   During the course of late October and November 2009, County
        Fermanagh experienced what for many was unprecedented levels of
        rainfall. The result was that the area was subject to widespread
        flooding, leading to significant disruption to life in the county at both
        individual and community level.


The Flooding Taskforce
1.2 	   The impact of the floods was such that the Northern Ireland Executive
        decided at their meeting on 3 December 2009 that a Flooding
        Taskforce should be established to investigate the causes of the
        flooding, identify lessons learned and consider measures required to
        mitigate the impact of any future flooding.


1.3 	   This cross-departmental Taskforce gathered evidence from members
        of the public in the affected areas, business people, local
        representatives and stakeholder organisations. A number of evidence
        sessions were held in Enniskillen and Lisnaskea so that the Taskforce
        could hear at first hand about the impact of the flooding on local life in
        Fermanagh. A significant number of written submissions detailing the
        impact of the flooding and offering potential solutions to the problem
        from a local perspective were also obtained from a wide range of
        individuals, businesses and organisations. Furthermore the Taskforce
        took full account of the issues identified by a Review of the Flood
        Response conducted by the Rivers Agency, Department of Agriculture
        & Rural Development. This report is attached at Annex 3.


Key Findings
1.4 	   The evidence received by the Taskforce confirmed that the flooding
        had presented very considerable challenges to the local population –
        difficulties in accessing homes, shops, schools, farmland and


                                          5

        businesses; problems in caring for the vulnerable; public health
        concerns; animal welfare issues; and wider economic impacts were all
        reported in detail to the Taskforce. Potential longer term damage to
        the Fermanagh area in terms of its reputation as a tourist destination, a
        good place to do business, and even as a good place to live and raise
        families was also identified by a number of those giving evidence.


1.5 	   It became apparent to the Taskforce that the flooding events had also
        brought a strong sense of community spirit to the fore, with residents
        displaying resilience and a readiness to help themselves and their
        neighbours to deal with the worst effects of the floods. Without this,
        and despite the considerable assistance and support provided by the
        responding agencies, it is generally recognised that the impacts,
        particularly at an individual level, could have been much worse.


1.6 	   While the consequences of the flooding were extensive and varied, the
        residents of Fermanagh felt strongly that the main contributory factor to
        the flooding was associated with the way in which the Lough Erne
        system was managed, from the Upper Lough to the hydroelectric
        power generating station at Ballyshannon. Section 6 of this report sets
        out in detail how the system is managed by the Rivers Agency in the
        North and by the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) in the South, and in
        particular how this is achieved in such a way as to meet drainage
        needs within the lough basin as well as the power generating
        requirements of ESB.


1.7 	   It was equally clear that those who submitted evidence believed there
        to be two potential solutions to the alleviation of the risk of future
        flooding and the mitigation of the impacts of such events – namely that
        the level of Lough Erne should be lowered (by up to 600mm / 2 feet);
        and/or that a number of key pieces of roads infrastructure should be
        raised to mitigate the effect of flooding of the surrounding lands.
        Detailed discussion of both of these issues may be found in Section 6,
        and the outcome reflected in the report recommendations at Section 8.


                                          6

Conclusions
1.8 	   The Taskforce undertook a detailed analysis of all of the evidence
        provided, the main conclusions arising from this were:


        •	 The extensive flooding in Fermanagh during November 2009 had a
           profound impact on the lives of local people.


        •	 In light of the substantial and potentially long lasting consequences
           from the flooding it is important that more is done to alleviate the
           impact of future serious flooding in Fermanagh.


        •	 The flooding was as a direct result of very heavy and persistent
           rainfall in Fermanagh during October and November 2009 which
           exceeded the drainage capabilities of the Erne System.


        •	 The Erne System complies with recognised drainage standards and
           it would not be economically or environmentally feasible to increase
           the capacity of the system to a level where flooding from extreme
           events, such as the November 2009 flooding, could be prevented.
           Neither would it be feasible to significantly reduce existing water
           levels, given the detrimental impact this would have on the natural
           environment and on water based tourism.


        •	 During October and November 2009 the Erne System was
           managed by Rivers Agency and the Electricity Supply Board in
           accordance with the Erne System Operating Regime. This Regime
           was first developed in the 1950s and should now be the subject of
           an in depth review to ensure that it adequately meets modern day
           needs. As part of this review consideration should be given to the
           feasibility of bringing forward the winter drawdown of Lough levels
           to maximise storage.




                                         7

•	 Subject to sufficient funding being made available, the level of
   investment in flood mitigation works in Fermanagh should be
   enhanced to include works to key roads infrastructure to protect key
   transport and access routes. In addition the feasibility of options for
   a flood alleviation scheme to protect Derrychara Link, Enniskillen,
   from inundation from Lough Erne should be examined.


•	 Flooding risk in Fermanagh cannot be eliminated completely.


•	 All organisations engaged in flood response and recovery must
   ensure that their emergency plans and networks are maintained
   and further developed to deal with the consequences of future
   serious flooding.


•	 In order to minimise the impact of any future flooding, steps must be
   taken to protect the delivery of essential services to local people
   during times of flood. This will include carrying out a programme of
   works to the Killyhevlin Water Treatment Works to further protect
   the supply of public drinking water in Enniskillen. In addition, all
   organisations responsible for the provision of essential services to
   the local community, especially emergency / health care, education
   and refuse collection must ensure that robust contingency
   arrangements are in place to protect the provision of these vital
   services to areas affected by such flooding.


•	 It is vital that the local community is as prepared as possible to deal
   with the consequences of any future flooding. The public must
   have accurate information about flood risk in the area, know what to
   do in a flood situation, and how to access help. An education and
   public awareness programme should be developed to inform the
   local community, including school children, about flooding in
   Fermanagh and this should specifically include information on the




                                 8

           Erne System.



Taskforce Recommendations

1.9 	   Following detailed examination of all the evidence adduced the
        recommendations of the Flooding Taskforce are:


        Management of the Erne System
        •	 An in depth review of the Operating Regime for the Erne System
           should be conducted to ensure that the arrangements and
           parameters for the management of the Erne System are adequate
           to meet modern day needs. The Lough Erne Management Co-
           ordinating Committee and the Lough Erne Advisory Committee
           represent all interests and activities associated with Lough Erne,
           and so should be actively engaged in this review process.


        Flood Mitigation
        •	 Subject to sufficient funding being secured, a programme of road
           improvement works should be undertaken to include all the roads
           listed at Section 6 (paragraph 6.65) to reduce the likelihood of loss
           of key transport and access routes.


        •	 A feasibility study should be conducted to consider options for a
           flood alleviation scheme to isolate Derrychara Link, Enniskillen,
           from direct inundation by Lough Erne, so alleviating flood risk to the
           area. In the interim, containment measures should be put in place
           prior to the coming winter.


        Essential Services
        •	 A programme of work should be undertaken to improve the level of
           protection from flood risk to the Killyhevlin Water Treatment Works.




                                         9

      •	 All organisations involved in the response to and recovery from the
          November 2009 flooding in Fermanagh should maintain and further
          develop their emergency planning arrangements and networks to
          ensure they are as prepared as possible to deal with any future
          serious flooding which may occur.


      •	 All organisations responsible for the provision of essential services
          to the local community, especially emergency / health care,
          education and refuse collection must ensure that robust
          contingency arrangements are in place to protect the provision of
          these vital services to areas affected by serious flooding.


      Communication and Public Awareness


      •	 An education and public awareness programme should be
          developed to inform the local community, including school children,
          about flooding in the Fermanagh area and how to deal with it. This
          should specifically include information on the Erne System.


Way Forward


1.10 	 Taskforce Ministers will present this report and associated
      recommendations at the earliest opportunity to the Northern Ireland
      Executive for its consideration. Relevant Departments and agencies
      will then be commissioned to take forward the recommendations
      agreed by the Executive.




                                      10

2       I
        	NTRODUCTION


2.1 	   In late October 2009 and for most of November the Erne catchment
        experienced unprecedented levels of rainfall, both in terms of quantity
        and duration. As the rain persisted it fell on what was already
        saturated ground, resulting in extensive flooding across Fermanagh.


2.2 	   In response to the impact which this flooding had on the people of
        Fermanagh, the Northern Ireland Executive agreed at its meeting on 3
        December 2009 to establish a Flooding Taskforce to investigate the
        circumstances of the flooding. The Terms of Reference for the
        Taskforce were subsequently agreed in the following terms:


        “FLOODING TASKFORCE – TERMS OF REFERENCE


        PURPOSE
        The Flooding Taskforce, established at the request of the NI Executive,
        will investigate the Fermanagh flooding of November 2009 and
        consider what further action is required by the NI departments (and
        their sponsor bodies) to deal with the aftermath of the flooding and to
        minimise the impact of future flooding.


        The Taskforce will report its findings and make recommendations to
        the NI Executive.


        FORMAT & MEMBERSHIP
        The Taskforce will:


        •	 be convened on a task and finish basis;
        •	 produce an interim report by the end of February 2010;
        •	 include Ministerial representation as well as officials drawn from the
           relevant NI departments; and
        •	 be led by the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister.



                                        11

        The secretariat for the Taskforce will be provided by Civil
        Contingencies Policy Branch, OFMDFM.


        ACTIONS
        •	 To investigate the factors which contributed to the flooding, to
           include those of cross-border significance.


        •	 To arrange evidence gathering sessions involving a range of local
           stakeholders.


        •	 To consider how NI departments could assist in dealing with the
           aftermath.


        •	 To examine lessons learned in a cross-departmental context.


        •	 To identify longer term planning issues, including the development
           of a Flood Risk Management Plan for Fermanagh


        •	 To consider preparations for possible measures to minimise the
           impact of future flooding.”


2.3 	   The Taskforce is Chaired by the Office of the First Minister and deputy
        First Minister, and membership comprises of the Executive Ministers
        for Regional Development; Agriculture and Rural Development; the
        Environment; and Enterprise, Trade & Investment, as well as senior
        officials from key NI Departments and agencies. A full list of the
        Taskforce membership may be found at Annex 1.




                                         12

3.      B
        	 ACKGROUND


3.1 	   The flooding in Fermanagh during November 2009 affected most of the
        population of the county in some form or another. Some had to endure
        only minor inconveniences, but for many others the social, economic
        and environmental impacts were much more significant, both at
        individual and community level. The level of impact experienced was a
        consequence of an unprecedented level of rainfall during October and
        November 2009, coupled with the particular topography and
        demography of Fermanagh.


3.2 	   The bulk of the flooding occurred after 19 November 2009 owing to
        inundation from Lough Erne. However, there was also flooding in the
        Boho area from the 4 November 2009 which resulted from the
        inundation of the natural floodplain of the Sillees River.


Fermanagh Profile
3.4 	   Fermanagh covers an area of 187,582 hectares, with a population of
        some 57,600, 13,600 of whom live in the county town of Enniskillen.
        The county has a population density of 31 persons per square
        kilometre, compared to 119 persons per square kilometre for Northern
        Ireland as a whole. Many of the residents therefore live in rural, often
        remote, locations.


3.5     Agriculture represents a key sector in the economic profile of the
        	
        county, which also boasts a number of thriving businesses as well as a
        healthy retail sector bolstered in recent times by an influx of trade from
        across the border.


3.6 	   A major topographical feature of the region is that some 30% of
        Fermanagh is covered with lakes and waterways. The River Erne and
        associated loughs and channels are of particular significance in terms
        of drainage in the area and consequently were a key focus for the
        Taskforce.


                                         13

The Erne System
3.7 	   The River Erne, which rises from Lough Gowna in County Cavan, flows
        through County Fermanagh to the sea at Ballyshannon in County
        Donegal. The river, which is some 100km long, drains an area of
        around 4,350km2, of which 1,850km2 is in Counties Fermanagh and
        Tyrone.


3.8 	   There are a large number of lakes in the catchment area upstream of
        Enniskillen. The largest is Upper Lough Erne which has a surface area
        of some 38km2. Water from the Upper Lough flows through the inter
        lough channel to Lower Lough Erne, which has a surface area of
        approximately 111km2. Sluice gates in the inter lough channel at
        Portora are used to ensure that water levels do not fall too low in the
        Upper Lough. The flow from the Lower Lough passes through the
        Belleek Channel to Cliff where the first of two hydro-electric power
        stations is located. This dam at Cliff controls the water levels in the
        Lower Lough. A second hydro-electric power station is located
        approximately 5km further downstream at Cathaleen’s Falls, more
        commonly known as Ballyshannon.


3.9 	   Control of the water level in the Erne System is undertaken by the
        Rivers Agency, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in
        conjunction with the Electricity Supply Board in Ireland under the terms
        of an agreement made in 1950 when the River Erne was harnessed for
        hydroelectric power generation.


3.10 	 Each October, in preparation for the higher levels of rainfall during the
        autumn and winter periods, the responsible agencies attempt to draw
        the water level in both loughs down in order to maximise the storage
        capacity within the system. When the amount of water in the loughs is
        too great, it can be spilled at Cliff and then at Cathaleen’s Falls.
        However, where rain is persistent a situation can be reached where the
        inflow of water from the catchment into the loughs substantially



                                         14

           exceeds the amount that can be conveyed by the channels and passed
           through to the sea.


Why the Flooding Occurred


3.11 	 Fermanagh experienced an unprecedented level of rainfall totalling
           336.8mm over the period 17 October 2009 to 27 November 2009. To
           put this in context, the total rainfall for the month of November for the
           county was recorded at 280mm, against the previous record of 191mm
           (in 1939) 1 and the long term average for the month of 103.25mm. This
           level of rainfall over 41 days is well in excess of a 1 in 100 year rainfall
           event, which means that there is a 1% chance of such an event
           happening in any given year. Prior to this heavy rainfall, the lough was
           successfully drawn down to its minimum level in early October 2009 in
           order to maximise winter storage capacity – see paragraph 6.32.


3.12 	 However the heavy rain in mid to late October 2009 caused the ground
           in the catchment to become saturated by early November. This
           effectively meant that from early November all rain falling in the
           catchment area ran off into the rivers and loughs.


3.13 	 The persistent rainfall caused water levels in the Erne System to rise to
           the point where the recorded levels at Belleisle, Portora and Rosscor
           were the highest since the current regime was introduced in the 1950s.
           As the water levels in Lough Erne rose above the prescribed upper
           limits the volume of water exceeded that which could be conveyed by
           the channels to the sea. Consequently, extensive flooding occurred,
           particularly around the Upper Lough. The actions taken throughout this
           period by the agencies charged with managing the Erne system were
           in accordance with the legislation.




1
    Data supplied by the Met Office


                                            15

4.	     METHODOLOGY


4.1 	   The approach taken by the Taskforce to this initiative was dictated
        largely by the clear need to engage directly with the people of
        Fermanagh to hear at first hand about the impacts the flooding had at
        both individual and community levels. It was therefore agreed at the
        first meeting of the Taskforce in Enniskillen on 17 December 2009 that
        the process should be informed by a series of evidence gathering
        sessions to take place in Fermanagh, and that those sessions should
        be open to the widest possible range of local people, community
        representatives and organisations from the affected areas.


4.2 	   Accordingly, a total of six evidence gathering sessions took place
        during January 2010. In addition to two public sessions in Enniskillen
        and Lisnaskea, the Taskforce heard from local Fermanagh district
        councillors; the Ulster Farmers Union; the Northern Ireland Agriculture
        Producers’ Association; and representatives from the business and
        commercial sectors in the county, including the Fermanagh Economic
        Development Organisation. The evidence thus gathered was
        augmented by a substantial body of written evidence provided to the
        Taskforce during January 2010.


4.3 	   In addition, the Taskforce sought and received information from the
        Electricity Supply Board. To supplement this, OFMDFM officials visited
        the ESB power station at Cathaleen’s Falls, Ballyshannon on 9
        February 2010 to learn at first hand about the operation of the power
        station and the impact of ESB’s operational requirements on the
        drainage of the Erne catchment and the wider management of the Erne
        system. The Taskforce also received evidence from Waterways
        Ireland on their perspective on the causes and effects of the November
        flooding.


4.4 	   The work of the Taskforce in considering the causes and impacts of the
        flooding was closely linked to and informed by the review conducted by


                                        16

        the Rivers Agency of the Department of Agriculture and Rural
        Development - ‘Fermanagh Flooding of November 2009’, a summary of
        key outcomes of which is at Section 5. The full Rivers Agency report is
        annexed to this report at Annex 3. This review examined the
        effectiveness of the multi-agency response of stakeholder
        organisations to the flooding, which was central to managing the
        effects of the flooding and its impact on the community. In relation to
        that response it concluded that co-ordination and co-operation between
        the various responders had been sound.


4.5 	   The subsequent analysis of the evidence collated led to the
        identification of the range of impacts the flooding had on the local
        community. In addition, the Taskforce distilled a number of proposals
        from those directly affected as to how the impact of future flooding in
        the area might be lessened. These proposals, which fall into four main
        themes, were analysed in detail by the relevant government
        departments and agencies, to establish their viability and potential
        effectiveness to meet identified need. Consideration of these impacts
        and proposals is at Section 6, with Taskforce conclusions at Section 7.


4.6 	   The final stage in the process was the production of a Taskforce
        Report and its presentation to the NI Executive for their consideration
        of the Taskforce recommendations, as detailed at Section 8.




                                        17

5. 	    REVIEW OF THE FERMANAGH FLOODING BY THE RIVERS
        AGENCY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL
        DEVELOPMENT


5.1 	   In addition to establishing a Flooding Taskforce, the Northern Ireland
        Executive also decided at its meeting on 3 December 2009 that the
        Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development should carry out a
        review of the response provided by Rivers Agency (RA) and its
        partners to the flooding in Fermanagh.


5.2 	   Section 4 of this report has already alluded to the importance and
        relevance of the RA Review to the work of the Taskforce, not least as a
        source of expert evidence on the management of the Erne System.
        Specifically, the RA Review Report outlines how the water
        management system for Lough Erne was applied during the course of
        the November 2009 flooding. It examines the response made by the
        various flood response agencies, identifies lessons learned and makes
        recommendations on how the multi-agency response might be
        improved in the future. It also contains detailed statistics on water
        levels to illustrate the effect of the heavy rain and the response made
        by the managing agents to mitigate its effects on water levels in Lough
        Erne.


5.3 	   The recommendations of the Rivers Agency Review Report are as
        follows:


        Control of Water Levels
        •	 The operating regime, applied within the current legislation should
           be reviewed by Rivers Agency and ESB to investigate if there is
           any scope for improvement.




                                        18

•	 The performance of the existing regime which has been in place
   since the 1950s should be reviewed. This will inform the need for a
   review of the current legislation.


•	 Any further review of levels must take account of the environmental
   designation, particularly on the Upper Lough. The Upper Lough is
   a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Special Area of
   Conservation (SAC). The Habitats Directive, which is European
   legislation, applies to SPAs and SACs. The Upper Lough also has
   nine Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs) of which Belleisle,
   Trannish and Crom are arguably the three most important. The
   Upper Lough is also a RAMSAR site (a wetland site of international
   importance designated under the Ramsar Convention 1975).


•	 Any review of levels must also take account of the navigational
   interests which involve Waterways Ireland, (the responsible
   authority for navigation within the Erne system).       Water based
   recreation and tourism generates vital income in Fermanagh.


Emergency Response
•	 It is recommended that all organisations involved in the response to
   and recovery from the flooding in Fermanagh use the lessons learnt
   from the review to further develop their own emergency planning
   arrangements. Opportunity should also be taken to further develop
   contact arrangements.


•	 A structured process should be established to carry out ‘desk top’
   exercises every two to three years to ensure that agencies maintain
   contact and co-ordination arrangements between each other.


•	 Facilities to obtain rainfall information for the whole catchment
   should be examined.




                                19

Government Response
•	 Consideration should be given to establishing an agency to provide
   a strategic overview to the management of flooding in Northern
   Ireland, particularly in the medium to long term. This agency may
   also be responsible for ensuring that all agencies and organisations
   have adequate emergency arrangements and plans in place should
   a similar flooding event occur in the future as will be required by the
   Floods Directive within Flood Risk Management Plans.


•	 Planning Policies restricting developments in the floodplain should
   be strictly applied to help eliminate the risk of property flooding
   should a similar event occur in the future.


Improvement Works
•	 Consideration should be given to examining the viability of raising
   critical roads.
•	 Rivers Agency and Roads Service should examine whether joint
   improvements can be made to the Derrychara Link area.


Awareness
•	 Rivers Agency, in conjunction with ESB, should draw up a short
   brochure explaining how the Erne system works and this should be
   distributed to schools in Fermanagh. Rivers Agency should also
   examine opportunities to add to previous presentations they have
   given on the Erne system to improve public awareness.


The RA Review Report, the terms of which were agreed in February
2010, is reproduced in full at Annex 3 of this Taskforce Report.




                               20

6. 	    TASKFORCE FINDINGS


IMPACTS OF THE FLOODING


6.1 	   The November 2009 flooding in Fermanagh occurred against a
        backdrop over the last two or three years of more frequent and more
        severe flooding incidents both locally and across the region than had
        previously been the norm. Flooding events in Belfast in 2007, and
        more widely in August 2008, led to the evacuation of large numbers of
        people from their homes, with significant damage to property, services
        and infrastructure. While evacuation and property damage of this
        magnitude was not a feature of the 2009 Fermanagh flooding, it
        nonetheless had a profound and lasting impact on the people of the
        county both at individual and community level. The true cost of the
        floods may never be accurately determined, but it is clear that it was
        significant.


6.2 	   It was also clear to the Taskforce that despite the co-ordinated
        response by various agencies the impacts could have been very much
        worse had it not been for the resilience of the local people, their
        willingness to help themselves, help one another, and to make the best
        of what was a very difficult situation for many.


6.3 	   For these reasons, it is important both to acknowledge and to record
        the types of difficulties and concerns faced at this time, as well as the
        impact that repeated flooding incidents of this nature might have on the
        maintenance and future development of small rural, often isolated
        communities in the county, the local economy, and the image and
        viability of Fermanagh as a tourist destination. This section of the
        report therefore records the evidence presented to the Taskforce
        by local people about the problems they encountered, which
        provided the information base to inform and help determine the
        nature and extent of remedial work and arrangements required to
        help avoid or to mitigate the effects of future flooding in the area.


                                        21

6.4 	   The Taskforce heard from a broad spectrum of individuals and
        community representatives, and it was clear from the evidence
        provided that the flooding impacted on many aspects of life in the
        county.


6.5 	   The main consequence of the November flooding however was the
        loss of some key roads infrastructure which, given the topography of
        the area, had a disproportionate effect on the community. This
        resulted in a wide variety of impacts including isolation of families;
        significant problems for people commuting to work and taking children
        to school; problems for care and emergency workers accessing
        vulnerable people; access difficulties for farmers in tending their
        livestock; damage to agricultural land; and economic losses to the
        business and commerce sectors arising from increased operating costs
        and lost trade.




        Figure 1. A number of key roads were flooded.


6.6 	   The prolonged duration of these impacts undoubtedly put an additional
        strain on those directly affected. Many of those who gave evidence
        mentioned the stress they had been under while dealing with the



                                         22

        consequences of the flooding and the resultant hardship both in
        economic and social terms that had been caused.


        Social / Welfare Impacts


        Access


6.7 	   A number of homes, mainly but not exclusively around the shores of
        Upper Lough Erne, were entirely cut off by the flood water. Access to
        these properties was possible only by tractor or boat, which carried its
        own inherent dangers as it became increasingly difficult to determine
        the path of lanes and roads when the flood waters rose. This caused
        significant disruption to normal life for those involved.




        Figure 2. Homes cut off by flood water.


6.8 	   It was reported that some entire families had to leave their homes for a
        period of time, while others were separated with some family members
        remaining behind in the home. There were other instances cited of



                                          23

        individuals with care responsibilities for elderly relatives living nearby
        being unable to make the necessary journey due to the height of the
        flood waters.




        Figure 3. Significant areas of countryside flooded.


6.9 	   Some of those in the affected areas mentioned that they had to leave
        their cars some distance from their homes at the edge of the flood
        waters, and before going to work each morning had to wade through
        the flood, change their clothes at the car before driving to work, and
        then repeat the process on the journey home.


        Schools


6.10 	 Families also detailed the difficulties faced in taking children to nursery
        groups and schools. While geographically separated from Lough Erne,
        the hazards of having to take young children through flood water were
        mentioned in particular by parents of children from Killyhommon
        Primary School in Boho. Other problems encountered in this area
        concerned children being subjected to long detours before reaching the



                                           24

      school. In the case of the Moat Primary School, Lisnaskea, a
      temporary school was established in the church hall in Teemore to
      facilitate children who would otherwise have had to travel from
      Teemore to Lisnaskea via a long detour considered too arduous for
      such young children to make. The impact of this disruption to the
      school system was all the more acute in light of the school transfer
      tests taking place during November.


      Care of the Vulnerable


6.11 	 There was real concern expressed about the difficulties experienced by
      care workers accessing the homes of the vulnerable and the elderly
      who relied on their assistance on a daily basis. Examples were given
      of patients who, because of difficulties with the provision of their care,
      had to be moved to alternative locations away from their familiar
      surroundings. In one instance, this was achieved only with the most
      extreme difficulty. In a similar vein, residents in rural locations
      expressed concern about the ability of the emergency services to
      access their homes had an emergency situation arisen during the
      flooding.


      Animal Welfare


6.12 	 Animal welfare concerns were raised by members of the farming
      community who had experienced real and prolonged difficulties
      providing feedstuffs and dealing with sick animals in areas cut off by
      flood water. In one case, difficulties in accessing stock to provide
      veterinary care were evident.


      Public Health


6.13 	 The effects of the flooding and its duration raised some public health
      concerns. Residents in some locations reported that no refuse
      collections were made by Fermanagh District Council during the


                                       25

      flooding period. Farmers were concerned about delays in the
      collection of dead stock due to the difficulties in collection lorries
      gaining access to farms. Those from more built-up areas were
      concerned about contamination of the flood water with sewage, given
      that local people had no option but to wade through this on a regular
      basis.


6.14 	 In rural areas, some slurry tanks were reported to have become
      flooded, resulting in slurry mixing with the flood water.


      Rural Communities


6.15 	 It was contended that the flooding, while worse than usual in
      November, was something that occurred in Fermanagh on a fairly
      frequent basis. Residents of the village of Boho, some six miles from
      Lough Erne, raised concerns with the Taskforce about the long term
      impact this could have on the viability of this small rural community.


6.16 	 The Taskforce heard evidence that both the nursery facility and the
      primary school in Boho were accessible only with extreme difficulty for
      a large part of November. Functions in the community centre also had
      to be cancelled, which represented a significant loss of revenue for the
      centre. In all three cases, concerns were expressed that if their
      facilities developed a reputation for being difficult to access, and were
      therefore unreliable, for example in terms of being able to provide an
      appropriate level of schooling in the case of the Killyhommon Primary
      School, then the public might be tempted to look elsewhere for school
      placements or community activities. If this were to happen, the
      damage to the community would be severe and lasting. These
      concerns are likely to be reflected in other parts of the county.




                                        26

      Economic Impacts


6.17 	 The significant access and travel problems experienced inevitably had
      an economic impact for those affected, and the evidence provided by
      all sectors bore this assertion out.


      Farming Sector


6.18 	 The Taskforce heard evidence from farmers that animals that would
      normally have been grazing outside had had to be housed early, so
      depleting winter feed stocks which then had to be replaced at extra
      cost to the farmer. Loss of revenue was reported from the inability of
      milk tankers to get through the flood waters to make collections from a
      dairy farm, and consequently milk output was lost. There were also
      concerns expressed about potentially reduced productivity of summer
      grassland as a result of land being under water for a significant period
      of time.




      Figure 4. Access issues for farmers.




                                        27

      Commerce and Business Sectors


6.19 	 The commercial sector reported significant loss of trade due to reduced
      footfall in Enniskillen and in surrounding towns such as Lisnaskea,
      coupled with a concern that once customers had by necessity taken
      their custom elsewhere they would not return. The reduction in the
      number of shoppers was attributed to a variety of causes, including the
      loss of key transport routes preventing people travelling to the usual
      shopping destinations, the (associated) severe traffic congestion in
      Enniskillen, and a widespread public perception that shops in the areas
      worst affected by the flooding would not be open. It was felt by some
      shop keepers that this perception may have been exacerbated by
      media coverage that was considered by some to have overstated the
      actual problems in the area. Traders at Derrychara Link Road reported
      an average loss of turnover in the region of 60 - 90% as a
      consequence of customers not being able to gain access to their
      premises. They also held the view that ‘roads closed’ signage in the
      vicinity of their retail premises gave the false impression to potential
      customers that their businesses were closed due to the flooding.




      Figure 5. Flooding at Derrychara Link




                                        28

6.20 	 There were significant concerns expressed about extra costs incurred
      by the business sector due to increased travel to work time for staff –
      some workers were forced to undertake detours of approximately
      twenty miles. The taskforce heard that inward and outward deliveries
      from business premises were similarly disrupted, with lengthy detours
      adding significantly to fuel costs. On occasions, deliveries had had to
      be aborted due to flood water levels. It was pointed out to the
      Taskforce that the main route to Belfast and Larne via Lisnaskea
      remained passable to large lorries, but had the situation worsened all
      this heavy goods traffic would have had to pass through Enniskillen,
      adding further to the already severe congestion and exacerbating
      losses to this sector from missed delivery targets.




      Figure 6. Challenges faced by local traffic.


6.21 	 It was estimated by representatives of the business and commerce
      sector that on average the retail sector lost sales of around 15-20%;


                                         29

       the distribution sector some 30%; the hospitality sector (which was
       particularly affected by reduced cross-border trade) 35-50%; and
       wholesalers around 20-25%. It was reported that while most locally
       manufactured product was successfully delivered the real issue for the
       manufacturing sector was higher costs, with a notable increase in
       labour and fuel costs in particular.


       Reputational Damage


6.22 	 Evidence provided to the Taskforce also identified the reputational
       damage that flooding events such as these can have on the
       Fermanagh area especially if, as has been the case in the last two to
       three years in the Boho area, they occur on a regular basis. It was also
       asserted that local entrepreneurs and inward investment projects alike
       could potentially be deterred from establishing in Fermanagh if it were
       to become known as an area that can at times be difficult to access, or
       that is a relatively expensive area from which to do business.


6.23 	 Reputational damage is also a potentially significant problem for the
       thriving local tourism industry, a key element of the economy in
       Fermanagh worth some £33million per annum (2008). Facilities such
       as the Share Centre near Lisnaskea suffered considerably during the
       floods, both in terms of access to the site and the damage to buildings
       and equipment by the flood waters. Although the flooding did not take
       place during the shoulder or peak tourism periods, the Taskforce was
       informed that cancelled bookings and/or loss of facilities have the
       potential to impact on business viability in the longer term.


ISSUES RAISED


6.24 	 In addition to providing a detailed insight into the impacts and
       consequences of the flooding from the perspective of those directly
       affected, the evidence sessions also gave local people the opportunity
       to make suggestions regarding their perceptions of the causes of the


                                        30

       flooding and potential improvement works which they felt would
       mitigate the impact of future flooding.
6.25 	 The suggestions thus made centred around four main themes, namely:


       ¾      Management of the Erne System;


       ¾	     Flood Mitigation;


       ¾	     Essential Services; and


       ¾	     Communication and Public Awareness


       Each of these four themes is considered in detail below.




Management of the Erne System


6.26 	 There was a general belief evident among many of those giving
       evidence to the Taskforce that the management of the Lough Erne
       system should be pursued more proactively by the relevant agencies,
       and that the statutory provisions of the Erne Drainage and
       Development Act (Northern Ireland) 1950 which, inter alia, governs the
       levels of the Lough, should be reviewed to ensure that they remained
       relevant and adequate for current needs. More specifically,
       representatives of the farming community requested that consideration
       be given to lowering the levels of the Lough by 600mm (2 feet).


6.27 	 The power generation activities of the Electricity Supply Board at the
       Ballyshannon and Cliff hydroelectric power stations were widely
       queried in terms of any detrimental impact they may have on the quick
       and efficient drainage of the Erne System.


6.28   Queries were also raised about the silting up of the Lough and the
       rivers flowing into it, including the Finn, Sillees and Colebrooke, and


                                        31

      there was a consensus that more dredging was required to improve
      drainage and alleviate flood risk from Lough Erne. Coupled with this
      however, there was a widely expressed perception that any such river
      maintenance would be hampered by environmental considerations.


6.29 	 Given these concerns, it is important that there is a clear understanding
      of the operating regime for Lough Erne, how it is implemented, and by
      whom. The following section provides that information, thereby
      addressing the issues raised by local people in this regard during the
      evidence gathering sessions.




      The Erne System and Operating Regime


6.30 	 The statutory arrangements for the operation of the Erne System are
      set out in ‘The Erne Drainage and Development Act (Northern Ireland)
      1950‘. This legislation prescribed higher and lower water levels for the
      loughs; trigger levels for control; and the extensive works required to
      facilitate the Erne Summer Relief Scheme to improve drainage in the
      area and give effect to the lowering of lough levels.


6.31 	 The works carried out in the 1950s entailed major improvements to the
      inter-lough and Belleek channels and the construction of new dams
      and hydro power stations at Cliff and Ballyshannon in County Donegal.
      A new control structure was also constructed on the inter-lough
      channel at Portora in Enniskillen, primarily to prevent the upper lough
      draining down under the improved drainage regime. Each element of
      the scheme was designed to accommodate sufficient flow so that,
      combined with the storage in the system, flooding would occur only
      during extreme rainfall events. Such events would have to be of
      significant duration and would almost certainly be restricted to winter
      when the impact on crops or livestock would be minimal.




                                      32

6.32 	 In terms of lough management, the statutory upper limit for the Lower
          Lough is that it should not exceed 46.33 metres (152 feet) above
          Ordnance Datum (OD) Poolbeg, Dublin 1. There is no statutory upper
          limit for the Upper Lough but the legislation states that the water level
          should not, if reasonably preventable, exceed 46.94 metres (154 feet)
          above OD Poolbeg in summer and 47.24 metres (155 feet) above OD
          Poolbeg in winter.


6.33 	 The Rivers Agency and the Electricity Supply Board endeavour to
          control the loughs within operational bands that have been set within
          the wider legislative limits. Water levels are monitored daily and
          regular contact is maintained between the Electricity Supply Board and
          Rivers Agency. The operating regime adhered to has been agreed
          with various interest groups since the 1950s. Essentially, water levels
          are maintained at a level during the summer months to take account of
          boating interests - these water levels are then lowered in October to
          maximise storage prior to autumn/winter when rainfall is generally
          greater. It is important to note that it is not always possible to draw
          down the lough levels in October as this is dependent on rainfall,
          although the minimum level (that is to say the statutory level in the
          Upper Lough and the operational level in the Lower Lough) was
          achieved in October 2009.


6.34 	 The outflow from the system is controlled at Cliff where some 230 m3/s
          can be passed through the turbines. Additional flow of 100m3/s can be
          passed through spillways which act as a safety valve and are designed
          to accommodate a 1 in 10,000 year event ie the structure at Cliff (and
          Cathaleen’s Falls) is capable of passing greater flows than can actually
          be delivered by the channels.


6.35 	 Flow in the Belleek channel is determined by the head differential
          between the lower lough and the water level immediately upstream of


1
    To convert Poolbeg OD to Belfast OD deduct 2.82 metres (9.25 feet).


                                              33

      the dam at Cliff. The water level at Cliff is drawn down to the lowest
      possible level when it is required to maximise flows in the outfall
      channel. When the lower lough is in the low to medium range the flow
      produced in the channel can be accommodated through the turbines.
      The Act defines trigger levels for spilling at Cliff and Cathaleen’s Falls -
      the legislative trigger level is reached when the lower lough is within six
      inches of its upper statutory limit and flow in the channel has
      significantly exceeded the capacity of the turbines. Spilling could occur
      earlier but this would have little impact on peak lough levels during
      extreme events. Flow in the Belleek channel increases as the head
      differential between the lower lough and Cliff increases.


6.36 	 The capacity of the channels, namely the inter lough channel and the
      Belleek Channel, is the major restricting factor in the discharge of water
      from the Erne System. Both have capacities that accommodate
      sufficient flow under normal circumstances and this, combined with the
      storage in the lough system, means that significant flooding occurs only
      in extreme circumstances. Works to increase the capacities of the
      channels would cost tens of millions of pounds and would not be
      economically or environmentally viable.


6.37 	 In summary the design capacities of the power stations at Cliff and
      Cathaleen’s Falls coupled with the spillage capacities at the dams are
      such that they can effectively disperse the maximum amount of water
      that can be conveyed to them through the Belleek Channel. In practice,
      during the November flooding some 385m3/s were actually being
      discharged from the system due to the unprecedented head differential
      across the system.


6.38 	 It is worth noting that had the rainfall event of October and November
      2009 occurred prior to the current regime being in place, lough levels
      would have reached even higher levels.




                                       34

      Operation of the Erne System in October – November 2009


6.39 	 The operation of the Lough Erne system during October and November
      2009 is reported in detail in the Rivers Agency Report annexed to this
      report, but it is important to outline here the chain of events which
      occurred during that period, and what actions were taken to alleviate
      the effects of the flood waters at each step.


6.40 	 Higher minimum lough levels are maintained during the summer
      months to facilitate navigation and other interests. Levels are reduced
      to the lowest achievable level from 1 October to allow for winter
      storage.   While this is not always possible due to autumn rainfall
      patterns, it was achieved in October 2009 because the first half of the
      month was virtually dry.


6.41 	 The overall rainfall in Fermanagh during October was only 1 % higher
      than the Long Term Average for that month. However, it is important to
      note that the bulk of the rainfall, some 95%, occurred after 16 October
      2009.


6.42 	 From 1 October – 17 October 2009, which was the period just prior to
      the persistent rainfall, lough levels were managed by opening the
      gates at Portora fully from 1 October to assist in drawing down the
      Upper Lough level to maximise winter storage. The gates were then
      closed between 7 and 14 October to maintain the Upper Lough above
      the minimum prescribed level and were then gradually opened again
      from 14 October to control flows between the loughs.


6.43 	 From 18 October to 4 November 2009, which was a period of
      persistent rain, the inflow to the Erne System exceeded the outflow and
      the water levels in both loughs continued to rise. The gates at Portora
      were fully opened on 25 October.




                                      35

6.44 	 On 4 November both loughs were below the targeted winter levels and
       no flooding occurred other than from the Sillees River at Boho, which
       was not caused by rising lough levels.


6.45 	 As conditions for spilling from the lough were reached on 5 November
       2009 ESB in consultation with Rivers Agency commenced spilling at
       Cliff from that date. With the gates at Portora open and spillage and
       generation of power being undertaken to maximise possible outflow,
       this had the desired effect of slowing down the rise of the water level in
       the Upper Lough. Initially the spilling caused the levels in the Lower
       Lough to reduce but then the rainfall intensified from the 14 November
       with some 53.2mm recorded at Portora in the following five days.
       Consequently the level of the Lower Lough started to rise again and
       exceeded its upper limit on 19 November 2009 before peaking some
       0.4m above this level on 27 November 2009.


6.46 	 The initial lowering of the Lower Lough eventually stabilised the level in
       the Upper Lough just below the winter limit but the increase in intensity
       of rainfall from 14 November caused the level in the Upper Lough to
       rise sharply, eventually peaking on 26 November (some 1.03m above
       the prescribed limit).


6.47 	 This sharp and exceptional rise in levels resulted in flooding, with
       Roads Service reports indicating the occurrence of road flooding
       mainly around the Upper Lough and the Boho area from 18 November
       2009.


6.48 	 From 27 November 2009 both the Upper and Lower Lough levels
       started to fall.


       Reduction of Water Levels


6.49 	 The rationale for the Erne System and the current operating regime is
       that it provides a suitable level of flood protection while considering and


                                       36

      accommodating the widespread interests across the Fermanagh
      community from farming to the water-based tourism industry. It also
      takes into account the need to prevent exposure of building
      foundations in Enniskillen.


6.50 	 Waterways Ireland (WI) is the navigation authority with the statutory
      function to manage the navigation for the Upper Lough, Inter-lock
      Channel and Lower Lough and is opposed to lowering of the summer
      operational level of Lough Erne. Advice from WI indicates that any
      significant lowering of water levels would have a severe impact on
      facilities both public and private, and would in particular have a
      catastrophic effect on boating related tourism activities with some
      5,000 boats on Lough Erne and a further 7,000 on linked waterways.
      Reduced recreational activity would cause economic decline in some
      areas.


6.51 	 WI has assessed that the main impacts of lowering Lough levels would
      be:


       •	 the widespread fragmentation and isolation of navigational
            infrastructure located around the mainland shore and on some
            islands, as a result of inadequate depths for navigation in critical
            areas;


       •	 the need for dredging works in an environmentally sensitive area to
            re-establish connectivity between channels which would introduce
            significant financial demands. Where the extent of work required is
            prohibitive, sections of the navigation may have to be abandoned
            and access to the islands on the Upper Lough could be severely
            restricted;


       •	 the requirement to modify numerous public and private navigational
            facilities (marinas, boat hire bases, slipways, jetties) developed



                                        37

   since the Shannon – Erne Waterway was opened as the water-line
   retreats. Public and private slipways on the Erne System, the
   Woodford River (Shannon Erne Waterway) up to Lock 1 and on the
   River Erne (and on any other tributaries that may have such
   services) would be affected;


•	 changes to the navigation of the River Erne. The lowering of the
   water level would create additional shallow areas which would
   require navigation markers and possibly relocation of the existing
   markers. Foalies Cut, which was opened at considerable expense
   in the 1990’s would be affected and would have to be re-excavated
   or abandoned. Abandonment would mean that boats would have
   to travel around by Crom to travel from the River Erne and Quivvy
   Waters to the Shannon – Erne Waterway. This detour would also
   inconvenience future users of the Ulster Canal link to Clones;


•	 the lock at Enniskillen would require major works to ensure that
   navigation is maintained to existing depths;


•	 there would be a direct impact on the Shannon-Erne Waterway up
   to Lock 1 which is partially in Fermanagh and Cavan. The channel
   would become shallower and dredging would therefore probably be
   required up to Lock 1. The lock itself would be impacted as
   lowering the water level in the lough would decrease the depth over
   the lower sill and floor of the lock chamber - the navigation criteria
   for this important link waterway would thus be affected. The lock
   would have to be deepened to maintain the existing draft criteria;


•	 the public facilities by WI at Aghalane (jetty, slipway) would be
   impacted and the slipway there would have to be modified. The
   ground at the Aghalane facility is already very weak and the banks
   of the river would be under threat at lower levels. This could
   require major civil engineering works to stabilise the banks and



                                38

          excavate the bed in difficult conditions and would add further to the
          maintenance requirement in the future; and


       •	 the shallower depths of the loughs and rivers would lead to
          increased aquatic weed growth which would restrict navigation and
          create a significant maintenance burden in an environmentally
          sensitive area.


6.52 	 The view that any reduction to the statutory levels would have a
      detrimental effect on boating and water-related tourism was also
      expressed by representatives of the Inland Waterways Association of
      Ireland at the public evidence session on 11 January 2010.


6.53 	 Furthermore, Inland Fisheries of the Department of Culture Arts and
      Leisure has advised that any significant lowering of levels could have a
      detrimental impact on fish stocks and angling tourism, as low water
      levels are generally much more detrimental to fish survival than high
      levels. In addition the viability of existing fishing jetties would also be
      compromised.


6.54 	 Rivers Agency has advised that it would be possible to draw Lough
      levels down towards the lower statutory limits in the summer. This
      would provide additional storage throughout the summer and would
      increase the probability of having maximum storage available for the
      winter period. However, this would increase the risk of extremely low
      water levels should drought conditions arise, would severely damage
      the water based leisure and tourism in the terms described above, and
      would have a detrimental impact on the natural environment, the
      importance of which has been recognised by environmental
      designations around the Lough. Alternatively, the Agency has advised
      that consideration could be given to bringing the winter drawdown
      forward to improve the chances of achieving maximum storage.




                                       39

6.55 	 The Lough Erne Management Co-ordinating Committee is chaired by
      Fermanagh District Council and comprises representatives from
      government departments and public bodies with responsibilities and
      interests in Lough Erne. The Lough Erne Advisory Committee
      comprises representatives from a broad spectrum of user groups.
      These two committees represent all interests and activities associated
      with Lough Erne, and they should be actively engaged in any
      consideration of change to water level management of the Erne
      system.


      Watercourse Maintenance and Dredging


6.56 	 The Rivers Agency inspects the Lough system and conducts essential
      maintenance required to ensure free flow in accordance with the
      arrangements set out in the Rivers Agency Watercourse Maintenance
      Manual. The Agency also has an established maintenance cycle in
      place for the Finn, the Sillees and the Colebrooke rivers, where
      desilting is undertaken as required to facilitate drainage. The water
      storage capacity between the upper and lower levels in the Lough
      system is not affected by siltation, as any water displaced by siltation
      or infilling during dry conditions would simply flow out of the Lough at
      its outlet. The volume of storage in the Lough refers to the capacity to
      hold water above the normal water level. Inflows in the Erne during
      wet spells can greatly exceed the possible outflow, the net short term
      result of which is that water levels will rise and the additional volume of
      water will be stored in the Lough until the rain stops, the inflow reduces
      to match outflow and the Lough returns to its normal dry weather level.


6.57 	 Much of the Lough, particularly the Upper Lough, is covered by natural
      conservation designations, either as Natura 2000 Special Areas of
      Conservation (SACs) or Special Protection Areas (SPAs) under the EU
      Habitats Directive, and Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs)
      under the Environment Order. It is important that all maintenance
      carried out takes account of these designations. In addition, flood


                                       40

      alleviation work could have the ecological impact of reducing fish
      stocks, and could detrimentally affect angling tourism. Of particular
      concern would be dredging of rivers that support trout spawning and of
      lake margins that support pike and coarse fish spawning.


6.58 	 Given the varied ecological and environmental impacts Rivers Agency
      has an in-house conservation team which provides advice on these
      aspects of its routine maintenance programme. In addition, the Rivers
      Agency consults the NI Environment Agency on the annual planned
      maintenance programme. Because of this close liaison between the
      two agencies and adherence to the legislative requirements, the NI
      Environment Agency has not turned down any request from Rivers
      Agency in relation to river / lough maintenance to reduce flood risk in
      the past two years. In addition, Rivers Agency in consultation with the
      NI Environment Agency has drawn up eight agreements in relation to
      ten watercourses within the Lough Erne catchment area. The
      Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure is also consulted by Rivers
      Agency regarding possible impact on fish stocks.


6.59 	 Rivers Agency is not responsible for dredging works for navigation
      purposes, which now rests with Waterways Ireland. Waterways
      Ireland has confirmed that since it was established in 2000 it has not
      carried out any dredging works on the Erne system but that some
      isolated spots may require attention in the future to remove silt from the
      navigation channel and restore navigation depth.


Flood Mitigation


6.60 	 As highlighted earlier in this report, the main impact of the November
      2009 flooding was the loss of critical transport routes as a
      consequence of flooded roads and the resultant severe congestion in
      Enniskillen as traffic converged on the town as other routes became
      impassable. Many of those giving evidence called for significant
      improvements to the roads infrastructure to ensure that a number of


                                      41

       key routes were kept open and passable.


6.61   T
       	 he frequency of flooding in Fermanagh was also mentioned by some
       of those giving evidence. In particular, the residents of Boho stated
       their strongly held view that the Sillees River should be diverted via
       Bunahone and Churchill into Lough Erne in an attempt to mitigate the
       repeated flooding in the area. In a similar vein the traders at
       Derrychara Link Road, Enniskillen, suggested that a dyke be erected to
       protect the road from the frequent inundation from Lough Erne.


       Roads Infrastructure


6.62 	 Over the course of the last ten years the Department for Regional
       Development Roads Service has invested in excess of £200,000 in
       managing flood risk in various areas of Fermanagh. In addition, in 2007
       the agency contributed £180,000 to a £540,000 scheme (the remainder
       was privately funded) to provide piled foundations for the roundabout at
       Erneside Shopping Centre, Enniskillen to prevent progressive
       settlement and reduce flood risk.


6.63 	 Some of the roads identified during the evidence gathering were
       actually raised previously in an attempt to alleviate flooding. However,
       there has been a tendency for the roads to sink back down to the
       original level again as a consequence of poor underlying ground
       conditions. For example, the Samsonagh Road has been raised on
       three occasions in the last 15 years, most recently in 2009. In cases
       such as this the additional weight of the material used to raise the road
       accelerates future settlement. This is not always the case however -
       the road at Cloghane Bridge for example was raised in around 2000
       and has remained at its elevated level without subsequent problems.


6.64 	 Following the November 2009 flooding Roads Service carried out an
       assessment of the merits of raising the various flood affected roads in
       the area, including a comparison of the impact of such works so that in


                                       42

       the event of specific additional funding being made available it can be
       targeted at those projects that would yield most benefit. In the absence
       of such funding, Roads Service has stressed that it cannot justify
       diverting existing limited roads funding to elevate roads that are
       vulnerable to flooding for a few days in the year but are otherwise in
       reasonable condition, at the expense of other roads that are in poor
       condition for 12 months in the year.

6.65   The assessment by Roads Service was based on a number of factors
       – the cost of associated works; ground conditions; traffic volumes using
       the road and inconvenience when closed. In the event of funding being
       made available to alleviate hardship resulting from a similar flooding
       event in the future, this prioritisation may be used as a guide to identify
       those roads where the greatest benefit may be derived.


       The schemes regarded by Roads Service as higher priority based on
       the above factors are:

       1.   B127 New Bridge Road at Share Centre
       This road carries approximately 3,000 vehicles per day and is a
       strategic east-west link across Upper Lough Erne. It is used by many
       businesses in the area and it is important that in the event of a similar
       flood event such disruption should not be experienced.




       2.   Quay Pass at Erneside / Derrychara
       This road leading to the Erneside area of Enniskillen is a major link for
       retail shoppers and if closed can quickly cause gridlock across the
       town. This is a concern for emergency services and results in a loss of
       business trade. In November 2009 it was necessary to create a
       temporary causeway to raise the road above the level of the flood
       water when it became clear that pumping operations would eventually
       fail. It is proposed that the final surfacing should be established at this




                                        43

level, raising footpaths and incorporating measures to prevent flood
inundation in a similar flood event.


3.   B533 Wattlebridge Road at Derrykerrib
This is a major cross border arterial route for south Fermanagh,
carrying approximately 5,000 vehicles per day. It is also an east – west
link of particular importance to business traffic and cross-border
shoppers. It is proposed to raise the road sufficiently to prevent a
recurrence of the problems encountered in November 2009.


4.   C436 Inishmore Road
This is also a key link road across the River Erne and used by many
commuters. Its closure, especially when other river crossings must also
be closed, causes major disruption to many road users. It is proposed
to have this short section of road elevated to prevent a recurrence.


5.    B36 Monaghan Road, Roslea
This road frequently floods at a location close to the entrance into
Springdale Estate, as a result of water levels in the River Finn. The
only convenient diversion route is by unsuitable minor roads which
causes difficulty for road users.


6.    Derrychara Link Road
This road was severely flooded during this period causing severe
disruption for those businesses located on the road. It also caused
considerable disruption to school transport services where access to
regular bus embarkation points was prevented. The relocation of these
services also adversely impacted on traffic around Enniskillen. In 2005
Derrychara Link Road was raised by up to 450mm - to a level
exceeding previous flood levels. Unfortunately the flood of 2009
significantly exceeded all previous floods and resulted in the road being
impassable for several weeks. The road is supported on a former lake
bed so ground conditions along the road are exceedingly poor, with the
result that adding additional weight is not considered a good use of


                                    44

funds. The estimated cost of piling the road is in excess of £1m, and
would not be cost effective.


It may be feasible to isolate the Derrychara / Erneside area from Lough
Erne in the event of a repeat flood event to prevent flood inundation of
the area. A feasibility study of this option by Rivers Agency and Roads
Service is proposed for 2011. In the meantime, some containment
measures are proposed prior to winter 2010.


7.   The Sillees River (Boho Area)
The community of Boho, situated on the flood plain of the Sillees River,
is in a different situation to the other flooding locations. While the 2009
flood on the Erne system was a one in a hundred year event, the
Sillees River comes into flood most years - often on more than one
occasion. The flooding of surrounding roads has caused major
disruption, including the temporary closure of the local Primary School.


Some of the roads have previously been raised at locations prone to
flooding and have been successful, while others quickly settle back to
their ‘normal’ level. The Samsonagh Road has been raised on three
occasions in the last 15 years, most recently in 2009. It has always
been recognised that it was not feasible to raise the road sufficiently to
remain clear of all floods, such is the swell of the river at this point. The
works have however greatly reduced the number of days the road
proved impassable.


It is not considered feasible to raise the Samsonagh Road any further
at this stage. However, it is proposed to raise two sections of the
Lisdead Road and also the Crott Road and the Drumanure Road,
which are the main feeder roads to Killyhommen Primary School.


8.    The Finn River (Newtownbutler Area)
The Finn River is also prone to come into flood most winters, affecting
a number of roads in the border region south of Newtownbutler. In


                                 45

2009 as many as nine sections of public road were under water,
causing considerable hardship for the residents. It is proposed to raise
a number of the following roads where the greatest inconvenience was
experienced:


       Cloncallick Road at Farmhill 

       Cloncallick Road at Keelaghy 

       Carra Road at Clonfad 

       Teer Road at Teer 

       Teer Road at Clonrye 

       Derrykerrib Road near Derrykerrib Bridge 

       Annies Bridge Road near the bridge 

       Clonelty Road at Leitrim 

       Clonkee Road at Cavanagh 

       Drumboghanagh Road at Drumboghanagh 

       Drumcrin Road at Clonshannagh. 



9.   Rossmacaffry Road
Although not a ‘through-road’ the Rossmacaffry Road serves
approximately 12 families and several farms/businesses. During the
2009 floods this road was flooded at three locations. The first two
locations were relatively shallow (approx 450mm) over a short length
but disrupted a large number of people. The third location was flooded
over 1 metre deep over a longer distance but inconvenienced fewer
people.


It is proposed to raise the level of the road at the first two locations, but
given the length and depth of road affected it is not cost effective to
raise the road at the third location. However, it is proposed to put in
place some measures to ease the inconvenience to users of this
section of the road in the event of any future flooding. Specifically, it is
proposed to create an earthen bund between the road and the river
where it runs close to the road to prevent the type of ‘cross current’ that



                                 46

      was experienced during this flood. It is also proposed to plant a row of
      trees along the verge at this location to serve as road markers.


      10.   Other roads
      The following roads were also affected by flooding and will be
      considered for treatment, subject to the availability of funding:


             C448 Glennashaaver Road at Churchill
             C431 Teemore Road at Derrymacausey
             U9408 Kinmore Road
             U9247 Innishrooske Road
             U9445 Rossmacole Road
             U8530 Drumanure Road
             B81 Caldrum Road
             U9249 Geaglum Road
             U8183 Graffy Road
             U9136 Ballyhoe Road


6.66 	 Traffic congestion in Enniskillen itself was greatly exacerbated by the
      loss of key transport routes during the November flooding and so there
      were calls during the evidence sessions for the construction of a
      southern by-pass for Enniskillen to be completed by 2014. A proposal
      for a southern by-pass road is included in the Department for Regional
      Development’s Investment Delivery Plan for Roads 2008-2018 with
      construction envisaged in the 2014 to 2018 timeframe. The route
      selection process is currently underway and it is intended that the
      Preferred Corridor for the proposed Southern By-Pass will be
      announced later this year.


      Drainage Infrastructure


6.67 	 The Rivers Agency, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,
      has invested significantly in major flood alleviation and drainage
      infrastructure schemes in the Fermanagh area. Examples include:


                                       47

        •	 the Maguiresbridge Flood Alleviation Scheme (2001/02) - cost
            £1.3 million;
        •	 the Enniskillen, Drumgay Lake Drain (2004/05) - cost £450k;
        •	 the Enniskillen, Killynure Lough Drain (2007/08) - cost £3 million.


6.68 	 In addition, approximately £1 million is spent annually on the
       maintenance of assets, the regulation of watercourses and the
       provision of advice to reduce flooding risk in Fermanagh.


6.69 	 The frequent flooding at Boho is a result of the Sillees River going out
       of bank. The Sillees River rises in the hills north west of Derrygonnelly
       and flows for the most part through a relatively flat valley to discharge
       into the River Erne a short distance from Enniskillen. The river
       catchment is a naturally scenic area. The upper few kilometres of the
       river have a good hydraulic gradient but there is a stretch of the river
       about 6 kilometres long with a very slack gradient (estimated at
       1:6000). This causes a slow flow of river waters with the surrounding
       land becoming inundated with floodwater on a regular basis and the
       consequent problems of roads becoming impassable for a number of
       days/weeks. The gradient over the final few kilometres of the river is
       quite good and consequently the level of the Erne System has a
       minimal effect on the rate of discharge.


6.70 	 The recurring flooding in the area is caused by a prolonged period of
       rain or an intense short duration storm coinciding with already high
       water levels. The frequency of these periods of flooding causes
       serious disruption to the local community. Rivers Agency previously
       conducted a feasibility study to investigate the potential to relieve the
       flooding difficulties in the Boho area associated with the Sillees River.
       Solutions to upgrade the watercourse and to divert headwaters into the
       Lower Lough Erne were examined. It was concluded however that this
       solution was not viable as the works involved would require extensive



                                        48

       tunnelling in an area of porous limestone geology with costs in the
       region of £6-10 million. However, as detailed at paragraph 6.65 it is
       possible that works to the roads infrastructure in the Boho area could
       be conducted to mitigate the impact of flooding in the area.


6.71 	 More widely, the Taskforce notes that Fermanagh is part of the North
       Western River Basin District, and a Flood Risk Management Plan will
       be developed for the entire River Basin District (RBD). As this is also
       one of our two International RBDs this work will involve cross-border
       co-ordination. It is envisaged that a sub-plan will be developed for
       Fermanagh in the longer term.




Essential Services


6.72 	 There was considerable concern expressed by those who gave
       evidence about the difficulties in ensuring emergency / health and care
       services for vulnerable people; continued education provision for local
       children; postal deliveries; and other essential services from locations
       isolated by the flooding. Questions were asked about how the
       responsible authorities would ensure the continued provision of such
       services during times of severe flooding. In light of the problems with
       service delivery, some residents and traders have requested a rebate
       of their rates for the period of the flooding.


6.73 	 In addition, there were calls for remedial action to be taken in respect
       of the resilience of the Killyhevlin Water Treatment Works. This arose
       from fears that the Treatment Works was almost overwhelmed by the
       flooding and had this happened much of Enniskillen would have been
       without drinking water.


6.74 	 Poor mobile phone coverage in rural areas was also mentioned in
       terms of the safety of people necessarily travelling through the floods



                                         49

      becoming stranded but unable to call for assistance due to poor phone
      reception.


      Emergency Services and Care of the Vulnerable


6.75 	 The NI Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) has contingency plans in
      place for major flood events. All operational personnel have received
      training in Level 1 Water Rescue Response and all front-line pumping
      appliances carry water rescue equipment for initial response to
      stabilise and/or rescue persons in distress. In addition, 48 personnel
      have received specialist training to perform swift-water rescue
      operations across NI in the event of flood emergencies.


6.76 	 The NIFRS also has a Specialist Rescue Team, acknowledged as one
      of the premier specialist teams in Europe, and this team is capable of
      performing high risk search operations and water rescue in all
      conditions. This team is equipped with a range of water rescue boats,
      rescue sleds and water rescue equipment in addition to high-risk
      search equipment including night vision goggles, thermal imaging
      search cameras and specialist GIS and mapping equipment.


6.77 	 The NIFRS was actively involved during the November 2009 flooding.
      Members of the Specialist Rescue Team (full-time firefighters from
      Belfast) were deployed to Fermanagh to stand-by in Lisnaskea Fire
      Station for 6 days. During their time in Fermanagh they carried out a
      number of reconnaissance and high-risk search operations. In
      addition, all the fire stations in Fermanagh were called out to assist with
      public safety, pumping out flooded property and generally providing a
      reassuring presence in the areas worst affected.


6.78 	 The NI Ambulance Service (NIAS) deployed 4x4 vehicles to the
      flooded areas to ensure that response times for the provision of 24/7
      emergency medical care were met. In addition, a station officer in a
      high sided four wheel drive vehicle was temporarily moved into Omagh


                                      50

      Station, to manage the situation as it changed on an hourly basis. An
      Assistant Emergency Planning Officer was tasked to co-ordinate with
      the Emergency Service partners and social services on patient rescues
      and to participate in teleconferences with all responding agencies.


6.79 	 The Western Health and Social Care Trust experienced difficulties
      during the flooding in gaining access to vulnerable people in the
      community. The Trust maintains various lists on which vulnerable
      clients are noted and these are held by the relevant Directorate
      Managers and can be accessed when required. During the
      Fermanagh flooding a daily review of vulnerable clients within the
      affected area took place. The Trust has reviewed its Major Emergency
      Plan and awareness sessions for those staff with roles to play within a
      major emergency and exercises to test the revised Plan are proposed
      for later in the year. In the event of an emergency occurring in the
      community, depending on the type of incident and the people involved,
      the Trust will appoint a designated senior member of staff as a contact
      point within the Trust. During the Fermanagh flooding a senior
      member of staff participated in multi-agency Task Force meetings. The
      Trust will also appoint a designated senior member of staff in the
      locality of the incident, as it did during the Fermanagh Flooding, to
      ensure the safe removal of vulnerable people. Trust staff will liaise and
      work with the NIAS and NIFRS (and other agencies as appropriate) to
      ensure that for its client groups, it could utilise any relevant externally
      held and managed equipment. The Trust is currently exploring an
      initial Memorandum of Understanding with the British Red Cross and is
      continuing to work closely with NIAS and NIFRS and local Councils in
      multi-agency planning groups to ensure preparedness. In addition, the
      Trust has appointed a full-time Emergency Planning Officer to help with
      all aspects of emergency preparedness.




                                       51

      Supply of Potable Water


6.80 	 Northern Ireland Water (NIW) owns and operates the Killyhevlin Water
      Treatment Works and has advised that they closely monitored the
      levels in Lough Erne from mid-November onwards as they rose above
      the Upper Lough Erne winter limit. On 20 November 2009 the levels
      were only 75mm lower than the Clear Water Tank overflow level and
      predicted to rise further. Significant ingress of water was visible into
      the basement of the plant through ducts where seals were leaking due
      to the excessive head of water. Without intervention there was the
      distinct possibility of plant closure and the loss of the water supply to
      Enniskillen and surrounding areas. Consequently, NIW took steps to
      protect the works from the developing situation and successfully
      managed through the period of the flood to ensure that output was
      maintained. NIW intend to implement a programme of work during
      2010 to remove the temporary works where appropriate and install
      permanent infrastructure to allow future extreme flood events to be
      better managed.


      Education Provision


6.81 	 Contingency arrangements for the education of children in Teemore
      were put in place when the Western Education and Library Board
      (WELB) in conjunction with the Moat Primary School, Lisnaskea
      established a temporary school in a local church hall while the main
      route from Teemore to Lisnaskea was impassable due to flooding. The
      WELB has confirmed that it has robust emergency and contingency
      plans in place to facilitate the continuation of education provision within
      WELB schools during any future serious flooding event.


      Refuse and Fallen Animal Collections


6.82 	 In terms of industrial and commercial refuse collection the Department
      of the Environment (DOE) has advised that the timely collection of


                                       52

      refuse from domestic and industrial premises during prolonged and
      severe flooding would, in accordance with the relevant legislation, be
      the responsibility of local authorities and private sector waste
      operators. Accordingly, it is for local authorities to address the risk of
      flooding and the impact on waste into their contingency arrangements.
      The Department and the NI Environment Agency (NIEA) maintain close
      contact with councils and will monitor the effectiveness of their
      contingency arrangements in the event of further flooding, with a view
      to issuing further guidance if necessary. The DOE, through NIEA,
      would have a role to play in considering possible variations to waste
      management permissions, authorisations or exemptions for waste
      collectors and operators to allow timely collection, temporary storage
      and movement of waste. This would have to be decided on a case by
      case basis at the time, with the aim of minimising the impact on the
      environment.


6.83 	 Fermanagh District Council has a Corporate Business Continuity Plan
      detailing how the Council will respond in a major disruption to services,
      and it has identified refuse collection as one of its priority areas in
      these circumstances.


6.84 	 The Department for Agriculture and Rural Development has advised
      that it received anecdotal evidence from the rendering plants which
      dispose of fallen animals that there was no increase in the number of
      fallen animals received during the flood period or immediately
      afterwards, which suggests that this was not a significant problem.
      However, it is acknowledged that individual farmers may have had
      problems in having their fallen animals collected.


      Mobile Phone Coverage


6.85 	 The Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI) has
      advised that mobile phone coverage is poor in parts of Fermanagh as a
      consequence of a combination of factors including topography, which


                                       53

      limits the range of the cellular masts, and the low population density
      which makes the area commercially unattractive to the private sector
      mobile phone companies. There is no legal obligation to provide a
      universal mobile phone service.

6.86 	 However, as part of current DETI plans to put increased pressure on
      the regulator and mobile phone companies to improve coverage, and
      separate to the work of the Flooding Taskforce, the Minister for
      Enterprise, Trade and Investment has written to the communications
      regulator OFCOM about mobile phone coverage in rural areas
      generally.


6.87 	 OFCOM is currently undertaking research into this issue in conjunction
      with interested stakeholders, including the mobile phone industry, to
      scope creative solutions. However, providing improved mobile phone
      coverage in Fermanagh is likely to require very substantial investment,
      the extent of which is not yet known although each new mast can cost
      £100,000. There may also be continued local resistance to the
      construction of additional masts.


6.88 	 Given that there is no legal requirement for mobile phone companies to
      provide universal coverage and that technically this would be both
      difficult and very expensive to achieve it is unlikely that the mobile
      operators would be able to justify the cost of providing complete
      coverage of Fermanagh.


      Refund of Rates


6.89 	 The Rates Collection Agency of the Department of Finance and
      Personnel has advised that in terms of domestic rates there is no
      provision within rating legislation to remit or reduce rating liability
      unless the ratepayer finds himself/herself with a reduced income, in
      which case he/she may be eligible for low income rate relief or rate




                                        54

       rebate as part of Housing Benefit.


6.90 	 In terms of business premises, the Hardship Relief Scheme which
       came into effect from 31 December 2005 allows the Department to
       reduce rates to assist a business recover from a temporary crisis,
       financial or otherwise as a result of exceptional and unforeseen
       circumstances. The flooding in Fermanagh during November 2009
       would fall into this category. However, it is extremely difficult to qualify
       for this relief because the ratepayer must prove financial hardship,
       which goes beyond calculation of loss and consideration must be given
       to whether the ratepayer is in a financial position to recover.


6.91 	 In terms of the farming sector, as agricultural land and buildings are not
       rated any rate relief would not benefit this sector.




Communication and Public Awareness


6.92 	 In terms of the response to the flooding the view was expressed that
       there could have been better communication between the responding
       organisations and the public. There were calls for arrangements to be
       put in place to ensure the provision of adequate and timely information
       to the public and that the responding organisations should ensure that
       the public can access relevant officials at all times.


6.93 	 Some local traders accused the media of presenting a picture of a
       ‘siege mentality’ in the press and that this had discouraged trade by
       giving potential customers that it was not ‘business as usual’. The view
       was expressed that better liaison was required with the media to
       prevent this from happening.


6.94 	 It was recognised by some of those giving evidence that there was a lot
       of conjecture within the local community about the reasons for the
       flooding and what might feasibly have been done to prevent or alleviate


                                        55

      it. In light of this it was suggested that an education programme on
      Lough Erne and the management of the Erne System should be
      developed and delivered to the local community, including school
      children.


      Public Contact Arrangements


6.95 	 Rivers Agency has advised that it assumed the lead role in dealing in
      communications during the response to the flooding, giving some
      thirteen interviews to television and radio and issuing thirty-two press
      statements. The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development also
      gave six interviews and made three press statements. Roads Service
      also participated in interviews and issued statements particularly in
      regard to road closures. The Fermanagh Office of the Rivers Agency
      received some 100 calls from the public seeking advice or information
      about lough levels.


6.96 	 The Emergency Planning Officer (EPO) for the Western Group of
      councils, in liaison with Fermanagh District Council’s Emergency
      Planning Implementation Group, played a pivotal coordination role
      during the flooding, including facilitating and chairing a co-ordinating
      group via daily conference calls with all relevant agencies. The daily
      conference calls proved to be a useful tool in keeping all organisations
      up to date on the current status of the flooding, and ensured that the
      public had access to the full range of advice and assistance available.
      They also ensured that a co-ordinated response was provided to any
      requests for information or assistance from those affected by the
      flooding. The EPO prepared and issued press statements on behalf of
      the multi-agency response group.


      Media Liaison


6.97 	 In terms of dealing with traders’ concerns about media portrayal of a
      siege mentality during the flooding, the Executive Information Service,


                                       56

      OFMDFM has advised that as was the case here key cohesive
      communication messages should be developed as early as practicable
      during the flooding incident and agreed with all stakeholders to ensure
      commonality of communication. Those being interviewed and
      providing information to the media could then actively promote and
      reinforce the positive message that the town is open for business.


      Raising Awareness about the Erne System


6.98 	 The Western Education and Library Board has indicated that it would
      welcome working with Rivers Agency to prepare an educational
      advisory teaching pack for schools on the Erne System. This will
      facilitate the introduction and explanation of this subject within teaching
      programmes for Fermanagh schools.


6.99 	 The Rivers Agency has already agreed to present to interested groups
      on the operation of the Erne system and is considering the possibility of
      drawing up a short brochure explaining how the Erne System works for
      distribution in schools.




                                      57

7.      C
        	 ONCLUSIONS


7.1 	   It was clear that the extensive flooding in Fermanagh during November
        2009 had a profound impact on the lives of those local people directly
        affected at the time. Furthermore, the potential lasting impact of future
        flooding was recognised.


        Impacts of the Flooding
7.2 	   The large volume of evidence received graphically illustrated the very
        considerable difficulties experienced in accessing homes, shops,
        schools, farmland and businesses; problems in caring for the
        vulnerable; public health concerns; animal welfare issues and wider
        economic impacts. The potential for lasting damage from future
        flooding to the viability of rural communities; the reputation of
        Fermanagh as a tourist destination, and as a good place to do
        business, was also evident. Given such substantial and potentially
        long lasting consequences it is important that more is done to alleviate
        the impact of future serious flooding in Fermanagh.


        Management of the Erne System
7.3 	   In preparing for the future, it is important to be clear about why the
        flooding occurred. Put simply, the flooding was as a direct
        consequence of the very heavy and persistent rainfall in Fermanagh
        during October and November 2009 which caused the volume of water
        flowing into the Erne System to exceed that which could be stored and
        discharged to the sea. It is of particular note that while the October
        2009 rainfall was around average for the month, 95% of that rain fell
        after 16 October.


7.4 	   The fact that the flooding occurred does not mean that the Erne
        System itself is inadequate or that it was not properly managed at the
        time of the flooding. The Erne System complies with the standards set
        in the legislation. These standards establish a level of protection
        against the likely or anticipated level of flooding for the area. It is


                                          58

        possible that this level will be exceeded during extreme events and this
        is what happened in November 2009. It would not be economically or
        environmentally feasible to increase the capacity of the existing system
        to a level where flooding from such extreme events could be
        prevented. Neither does the balance of argument support the proposal
        put forward by some residents to lower the existing Lough levels, given
        the detrimental impact this would have on the natural environment and
        on water-based tourism.


7.5 	   DARD Rivers Agency and the Electricity Supply Board managed the
        System during October and November 2009 in accordance with the
        Erne Drainage and Development Act (Northern Ireland) 1950 and the
        parameters of the Operating Regime applied under the Act. However,
        given the impact of the November flooding event, an in depth review of
        the Regime should be conducted to ensure that it adequately meets
        modern day needs. This review should include the feasibility of
        bringing forward the winter drawdown of Lough levels to maximise
        storage.


        Flood Mitigation
7.6 	   In recent years there has been investment in flood mitigation works to
        protect people and property in Fermanagh. However, these works
        should be enhanced to further alleviate the impact of serious flooding in
        the area. This enhancement should, subject to sufficient funding being
        made available, include works to key roads infrastructure (as detailed
        at paragraph 6.65) in order to protect important transport and access
        routes and to mitigate disruption in the Boho area. In addition the
        feasibility of options for reducing flood risk at Derrychara Link,
        Enniskillen should be examined.


        Essential Services
7.7 	   Even though steps are taken to alleviate flooding risk in Fermanagh, it
        cannot be prevented altogether and from time to time some flooding is
        likely to occur. Established practice is that areas prone to flooding are


                                         59

        not developed. It is important that this practice should be maintained in
        order to manage residual flood risk. In addition, while the efforts of the
        responding organisations involved in dealing with the aftermath of the
        November flooding are fully recognised, it is imperative that emergency
        planning arrangements and networks are maintained. These should be
        further developed where necessary to ensure that leadership
        responsibilities are clear and fully understood in respect of future
        flooding emergencies.


7.8 	   In mitigating the impact of future flooding on people’s daily lives steps
        must be taken to protect essential service provision. This will include a
        programme of works at the Killyhevlin Water Treatment Works to
        protect the public drinking water supply in Enniskillen. In addition,
        steps must be taken to ensure robust contingency arrangements for
        the continued provision of emergency / health care, education and
        refuse collection are in place.


        Communication and Public Awareness
7.9 	   Finally, it is key that the local community is as prepared as possible to
        deal with any future flooding. It is important that the public have
        accurate information about flood risk in the area, know what to do in a
        flood situation and how to access help. All agencies involved in
        managing flood risk and responding to flood emergencies should
        continue in their efforts to provide easily understandable and
        accessible information to the public in advance of and during flood
        emergencies. In addition, current public concerns and misconceptions
        about the Erne System must be addressed. This can best be done
        through the provision of an education programme for local school
        children, presentations and talks to local interest groups, and the
        production of an Erne System information leaflet for distribution to
        households in the Fermanagh area.




                                          60

8. RECOMMENDATIONS


8.1 	   After examining all the evidence provided and considering the detailed
        assessment of this evidence by the appropriate NI departments and
        agencies the Flooding Taskforce has made the following
        recommendations for action by the end of 2011. It is recommended
        that:


        Management of the Erne System
        •	 An in depth review of the Operating Regime for the Erne System
           should be conducted to ensure that the arrangements and
           parameters for the management of the Erne System are adequate
           to meet modern day needs. The Lough Erne Management Co-
           ordinating Committee and the Lough Erne Advisory Committee
           represent all interests and activities associated with Lough Erne,
           and so should be actively engaged in this review process.


        Flood Mitigation
        •	 Subject to sufficient funding being secured, a programme of road
           improvement works should be undertaken to include all the roads
           identified in Section 6 paragraph 6.65 to reduce the likelihood of
           loss of key transport and access routes.


        •	 A feasibility study should be conducted to consider options for
           reducing flood risk at Derrychara Link, Enniskillen. In the interim,
           containment measures should be put in place prior to the coming
           winter.


        Essential Services
        •	 A programme of work to be undertaken to improve the level of
           protection from flood risk of the Killyhevlin Water Treatment Works.




                                        61

•	 All organisations involved in the response to and recovery from the
   November 2009 flooding in Fermanagh should maintain and further
   develop their emergency planning arrangements and networks to
   ensure they are as prepared as possible to deal with any serious
   future flooding which may occur.


•	 All organisations responsible for the provision of essential services
   to the local community, especially emergency / health care,
   education and refuse collection must ensure that robust
   contingency arrangements are in place to protect the provision of
   these vital services to areas affected by serious flooding.


Communication and Public Awareness
•	 An education and public awareness programme should be
   developed to inform the local community, including school children
   about flooding in the Fermanagh area and how to deal with it. This
   should specifically include information on the Erne System.




                                62

                                                                 ANNEX 1


List of Taskforce members


Bruce Robinson              Head of the NI Civil Service (Chair)
Noel Lavery                 Office of the First Minister and deputy First
                            Minister (OFMDFM) (Deputy Chair)
Michelle Gildernew MP MLA   Minister for Agriculture & Rural
                            Development
Arlene Foster MLA           Minister for Enterprise, Trade and
                            Investment
Conor Murphy MP MLA         Minister for Regional Development
Edwin Poots MLA             Minister for the Environment
Keith Jagelman              OFMDFM (Secretary)
Philip Mehaffey             Rivers Agency, Department of Agriculture
                            and Rural Development (DARD)
Wendy Johnston              DARD
Wesley Shannon              Department of the Environment
Brian Daly                  Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure
Owen Doody                  Western Education and Library Board
Dave Foster                 Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Mike Beare                  Department of Finance and Personnel
Andrew Elliott              Department of Health, Social Services and
                            Public Safety
Brendan Duffy               Western Health and Social Care Trust
Pat Doherty                 Roads Service, Department for Regional
                            Development
Gordon Smyth                NI Water
Mervyn Adair                Social Security Agency
Paul Major                  Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Julie Cuming                OFMDFM
John Murphy                 OFMDFM




                                63

             ANNEX 2


Lough Levels, Gate State and Discharge at cliff for the period
1 May 2009 to 31 December 2009


              Upper                                                             Total
              Lough         Portora       Lower Lough                        Discharge
                                                                              At Cliff   Rainfall
              Belleisle   u/s     d/s     Roscor     Gate state   Spilling      m3/s     Portora
  1/5/2009       46.54    46.26   46.19     46.21    Fully open     No         106.54        5.4
  2/5/2009       46.56    46.25   46.18     46.18    Fully open     No         166.58        1.4
  3/5/2009       46.51    46.22   46.16     46.10    Fully open     No         182.00        2.6
  4/5/2009       46.51    46.18   46.13     46.12    Fully open     No         102.04        3.2
  5/5/2009       46.48    46.20   46.14     46.12    Fully open     No         116.54        8.8
  6/5/2009       46.56    46.30   43.22     46.24    Fully open     No         63.33         9.6
  7/5/2009       46.66    46.40   46.30     46.33    Fully open    Yes         195.86        4.4
  8/5/2009       46.67    46.34   46.25     46.23    Fully open    Yes         285.91         12
  9/5/2009       46.75    46.27   46.19     46.17    Fully open    Yes         282.75        6.2
 10/5/2009       46.77    46.21   46.14     46.10    Fully open    Yes         276.35        2.6
 11/5/2009       46.72    46.13   46.08     46.03    Fully open    Yes         231.79          0
 12/5/2009       46.64    46.06   46.03     46.00    Fully open    Yes         200.58          0
 13/5/2009       46.54    46.02   46.00     45.97    Fully open    Yes         200.40          0
 14/5/2009       46.45    45.98   45.96     45.90    Fully open    Yes         129.08        1.2
 15/5/2009       46.38    46.03   46.00     45.96    Fully open     No         71.42         9.6
 16/5/2009       46.39    46.03   46.00     45.99    Fully open     No         92.79         7.5
 17/5/2009       46.42    46.07   46.04     46.04    Fully open     No         83.17         7.6
 18/5/2009       46.43    46.12   46.07     46.02    Fully open     No         80.96         6.4
 19/5/2009       46.45    46.14   46.09     46.07    Fully open     No         84.13           1
 20/5/2009       46.47    46.16   46.11     46.09    Fully open     No         88.71           1
 21/5/2009       46.47    46.18   46.13     46.11    Fully open     No         83.17           1
 22/5/2009       46.47    46.19   46.13     46.13    Fully open     No         108.29        1.2
 23/5/2009       46.45    46.17   46.12     46.12    Fully open     No         125.67        1.6
 24/5/2009       46.47    46.14   46.09     46.08    Fully open     No         179.63        5.6
 25/5/2009       46.43    46.08   46.05     46.02    Fully open     No         174.08          0
 26/5/2009       46.37    46.05   46.02     45.94    Fully open     No         163.92          1
 27/5/2009       46.33    46.02   46.00     45.93    Fully open     No         126.17        4.2
 28/5/2009       46.30    46.01   45.99     45.94    Fully open     No         53.75         2.4
 29/5/2009       46.26    46.01   45.99     45.98    Fully open     No         61.71           0
 30/5/2009       46.22    46.04   46.01     45.99    Fully open     No         59.00           0
 31/5/2009       46.20    46.05   46.02     46.00    Fully open     No         63.21           0
  1/6/2009       46.17    46.05   46.02     46.00    Fully open     No         56.00           0
  2/6/2009       46.15    46.05   46.02     46.00    Fully open     No         20.29           0
  3/6/2009       46.13    46.07   46.04     46.02    Fully open     No         11.92           0
  4/6/2009       46.14    46.09   46.06     46.04    Fully open     No         12.83           0
  5/6/2009       46.14    46.12   46.08     46.04    Fully open     No         13.08           0
  6/6/2009       46.15    46.10   46.07     46.03    Fully open     No         10.67           0
  7/6/2009       46.15    46.11   46.07     46.06    Fully open     No         12.83           1
  8/6/2009       46.15    46.11   46.07     46.07    Fully open     No         14.58           0
  9/6/2009       46.14    46.11   46.08     46.07    Fully open     No         37.50           0
 10/6/2009       46.13    46.09   46.06     46.04    Fully open     No         25.50           0
 11/6/2009       46.13    46.10   46.06     46.04    Fully open     No         25.50           0
 12/6/2009       46.12    46.07   46.05     46.05    Fully open     No         23.33           0


                                                    64

13/6/2009   46.10   46.07   46.05   46.05    Fully open   No   24.90     4.2
14/6/2009   46.09   46.08   46.05   46.03    Fully open   No   16.79     3.4
15/6/2009   46.11   46.09   46.06   46.04    Fully open   No   28.00     0.4
16/6/2009   46.10   46.09   46.04   46.04    Fully open   No   26.67       0
17/6/2009   46.09   46.09   46.06   46.02    Fully open   No   24.29    22.8
18/6/2009   46.15   46.09   46.06   46.04    Fully open   No   22.21     0.4
19/6/2009   46.15   46.12   46.08   46.03    Fully open   No   27.45     0.4
20/6/2009   46.16   46.12   46.08   46.04    Fully open   No   24.88     0.8
21/6/2009   46.16   46.13   46.09   46.05    Fully open   No   20.86     0.2
22/6/2009   46.15   46.12   46.08   46.03    Fully open   No   27.83     0.2
23/6/2009   46.15   46.11   46.07   46.07    Fully open   No   61.45     0.2
24/6/2009   46.12   46.08   46.05   46.04    Fully open   No   62.54       0
25/6/2009   46.08   46.05   46.03   46.02    Fully open   No   89.88       0
26/6/2009   46.04   46.00   45.98   45.98    Fully open   No   12.21       0
27/6/2009   46.02   46.00   45.99   45.97    Fully open   No   13.21       0
28/6/2009   46.02   46.00   45.98   45.98    Fully open   No   13.17       0
29/6/2009   46.01   46.01   45.99   45.97    Fully open   No    0.92       0
30/6/2009   46.02   45.99   45.98   45.98    Fully open   No    0.92       0
 1/7/2009   46.03   46.02   46.01   45.98    Fully open   No    0.92       0
 2/7/2009   46.04   46.04   46.02   46.00    Fully open   No    0.92     7.8
 3/7/2009   46.06   46.05   46.03   46.01    Fully open   No    0.92     3.2
 4/7/2009   46.08   46.06   46.03   46.03    Fully open   No    8.17      15
 5/7/2009   46.14   46.09   46.06   46.06    Fully open   No    9.08    19.4
 6/7/2009   46.21   46.15   46.11   46.10    Fully open   No   37.58       0
 7/7/2009   46.28   46.17   46.12   46.11    Fully open   No   94.21       0
 8/7/2009   46.28   46.16   46.12   46.08    Fully open   No   113.00    1.2
 9/7/2009   46.24   46.12   46.08   46.04    Fully open   No   116.00    0.2
10/7/2009   46.20   46.07   46.04   46.01    Fully open   No   121.46      0
11/7/2009   46.13   46.02   46.00   45.97    Fully open   No   23.54       0
12/7/2009   46.08   46.05   46.03   46.02    Fully open   No   28.00     7.6
13/7/2009   46.09   46.06   46.03   46.03    Fully open   No   57.04       1
14/7/2009   46.10   46.06   46.04   46.02    Fully open   No   26.67       6
15/7/2009   46.12   46.08   46.06   46.03    Fully open   No   23.75     2.8
16/7/2009   46.15   46.09   46.06   46.04    Fully open   No   23.50     0.4
17/7/2009   46.14   46.14   46.10   46.05    Fully open   No   26.58     0.6
18/7/2009   46.17   46.12   46.08   46.06    Fully open   No   54.75       0
19/7/2009   46.14   46.12   46.09   46.03    Fully open   No   54.04       2
20/7/2009   46.14   46.09   46.06   46.04    Fully open   No   56.38     1.2
21/7/2009   46.11   46.05   46.03   46.06    Fully open   No   111.88    2.4
22/7/2009   46.10   46.04   46.01   45.99    Fully open   No   56.13     6.4
23/7/2009   46.08   46.05   46.02   46.00    Fully open   No   60.46     0.8
24/7/2009   46.10   46.06   46.03   45.97    Fully open   No   56.92     9.4
25/7/2009   46.11   46.04   46.02   46.01    Fully open   No   23.67     0.2
26/7/2009   46.11   46.06   46.03   46.04    Fully open   No   25.37    11.2
27/7/2009   46.14   46.10   46.07   46.06    Fully open   No   62.42       1
28/7/2009   46.14   46.09   46.06   46.07    Fully open   No   60.63       1
29/7/2009   46.19   46.09   46.06   46.03    Fully open   No   88.37     3.6
30/7/2009   46.19   46.04   46.01   45.97    Fully open   No   140.75      2
31/7/2009   46.16   45.97   45.96   45.95    Fully open   No   79.79     0.4
 1/8/2009   46.13   45.98   45.98   45.93    Fully open   No   28.83      10
 2/8/2009   46.13   46.02   46.01   45.98    Fully open   No   23.92     4.2
 3/8/2009   46.14   46.04   46.03   46.02    Fully open   No   24.21     8.8
 4/8/2009   46.18   46.10   46.06   46.01    Fully open   No   56.12    10.2
 5/8/2009   46.19   46.08   46.05   46.06    Fully open   No   57.71     0.2



                                            65

 6/8/2009   46.17   46.08   46.05   46.04    Fully open   No    65.96       0
 7/8/2009   46.16   46.07   46.05   46.03    Fully open   No    59.79     0.4
 8/8/2009   46.13   46.06   46.04   46.00    Fully open   No    28.25       0
 9/8/2009   46.13   46.07   46.05   46.02    Fully open   No    21.13     0.2
10/8/2009   46.11   46.08   46.05   46.02    Fully open   No    56.54     2.2
11/8/2009   46.11   46.04   46.02   45.99    Fully open   No    38.17     0.2
12/8/2009   46.09   46.07   46.04   45.98    Fully open   No    23.25     0.2
13/8/2009   46.10   46.05   46.03   46.01    Fully open   No    25.96     0.4
14/8/2009   46.09   46.04   46.02   46.02    Fully open   No    25.96       1
15/8/2009   46.14   46.10   46.07   46.03    Fully open   No    21.63    16.2
16/8/2009   46.15   46.11   46.08   46.05    Fully open   No    31.08       1
17/8/2009   46.19   46.13   46.09   46.08    Fully open   No    42.46     5.6
18/8/2009   46.20   46.11   46.07   46.08    Fully open   No    79.79       8
19/8/2009   46.21   46.13   46.09   46.07    Fully open   No    57.83       4
20/8/2009   46.35   46.17   46.13   46.12    Fully open   No    101.21   20.8
21/8/2009   46.50   46.21   46.16   46.15    Fully open   No    123.33    1.6
22/8/2009   46.50   46.19   46.13   46.13    Fully open   No    166.38    0.4
23/8/2009   46.56   46.18   46.13   46.13    Fully open   Yes   219.66     22
24/8/2009   46.92   46.27   46.20   46.17    Fully open   Yes   287.25   28.4
25/8/2009   46.91   46.22   46.16   46.11    Fully open   Yes   269.18    1.6
26/8/2009   46.90   46.19   46.13   46.06    Fully open   Yes   255.83    9.2
27/8/2009   46.91   46.14   46.09   46.02    Fully open   Yes   228.09    0.2
28/8/2009   46.88   46.17   46.12   46.02    Fully open   Yes   209.83     12
29/8/2009   46.89   46.17   46.11   46.03    Fully open   Yes   193.21    2.4
30/8/2009   46.83   46.16   46.10   46.05    Fully open   Yes   194.13    0.4
31/8/2009   46.83   46.16   46.11   46.07    Fully open   Yes   200.38   16.8
 1/9/2009   46.89   46.17   46.15   46.11    Fully open   Yes   182.75    6.4
 2/9/2009   46.87   46.18   46.12   46.07    Fully open   Yes   210.78      0
 3/9/2009   46.82   46.16   46.11   46.03    Fully open   Yes   204.77   11.8
 4/9/2009   46.80   46.14   46.10   46.02    Fully open   Yes   199.86      1
 5/9/2009   46.75   46.11   46.07   45.98    Fully open   Yes   206.67    1.8
 6/9/2009   46.69   46.06   46.04   45.97    Fully open   Yes   213.76    4.6
 7/9/2009   46.67   46.05   46.02   45.85    Fully open   Yes   172.15      6
 8/9/2009   46.65   46.09   46.06   46.03    Fully open   No    114.42    7.6
 9/9/2009   46.66   46.12   46.08   46.05    Fully open   No    130.29    0.8
10/9/2009   46.62   46.14   46.09   46.07    Fully open   No    115.21    0.2
11/9/2009   46.57   46.14   46.09   46.06    Fully open   No    112.63      0
12/9/2009   46.52   46.15   46.09   46.06    Fully open   No    118.04    0.2
13/9/2009   46.46   46.14   46.09   46.05    Fully open   No    116.25    0.2
14/9/2009   46.41   46.12   46.08   46.05    Fully open   No    74.58       0
15/9/2009   46.36   46.14   46.10   46.05    Fully open   No    100.54      0
16/9/2009   46.32   46.10   46.07   46.04    Fully open   No    126.75      0
17/9/2009   46.28   46.05   46.03   45.99    Fully open   No    115.17      0
18/9/2009   46.23   46.03   46.01   45.99    Fully open   No    23.29       0
19/9/2009   46.17   46.04   46.04   46.00    Fully open   No    25.63     0.4
20/9/2009   46.17   46.06   46.03   46.02    Fully open   No    25.04       0
21/9/2009   46.16   46.08   46.05   46.04    Fully open   No    24.63     1.4
22/9/2009   46.16   46.09   46.06   46.05    Fully open   No    26.29     4.8
23/9/2009   46.17   46.11   46.08   46.06    Fully open   No    48.04     0.4
24/9/2009   46.16   46.09   46.06   46.05    Fully open   No    61.04       1
25/9/2009   46.15   46.07   46.04   46.03    Fully open   No    60.79       0
26/9/2009   46.13   46.04   46.03   45.99    Fully open   No    64.46       0
27/9/2009   46.10   46.03   46.01   45.99    Fully open   No    61.54       0
28/9/2009   46.07   46.01   46.00   45.94    Fully open   No    64.13       0



                                            66

 29/9/2009   46.06   46.00   45.99   45.93     Fully open        No    59.75       0
 30/9/2009   46.04   45.98   45.97   45.90     Fully open        No    61.96       0
 1/10/2009   46.02   45.96   45.96   45.90     FO                No    115.10      0
 2/10/2009   45.97   45.88   45.89   45.83     FO                No    118.20    0.2
 3/10/2009   45.92   45.86   45.88   45.80     FO                No    59.30     1.4
 4/10/2009   45.90   45.82   45.84   45.78     FO                No    55.90     0.2
 5/10/2009   45.88   45.80   45.84   45.77     FO                No    100.90      0
 6/10/2009   45.82   45.75   45.79   45.68     FO                No    134.20    0.2
 7/10/2009   45.78   45.66   45.72   45.62     FO                No    114.80    0.2
 8/10/2009   45.81   45.80   45.66   45.53     FC 10.00          No    29.60     0.2
 9/10/2009   45.86   45.87   45.60   45.53     FC                No    12.80     0.2
10/10/2009   45.89   45.88   45.62   45.52     FC                No    25.10     7.8
11/10/2009   45.92   45.90   45.64   45.49     FC                No    25.90     0.2
12/10/2009   45.95   45.93   45.60   45.48     FC                No    49.30     0.4
13/10/2009   45.96   45.95   45.57   45.45     FC                No    31.80       0
                                               FC1&2,3&4
14/10/2009   45.98   45.97   45.56   45.42     1'Open            No    12.80     0.2
                                               FC1&2,3&4
15/10/2009   45.97   45.92   45.57   45.43     1'Open            No    11.80     1.8
                                               FC1&2,3&4
16/10/2009   45.95   45.92   45.57   45.44     1'Open            No    12.30      0
                                               FC1&2,3&4
17/10/2009   45.96   45.91   45.58   45.45     1'Open            No    11.70     0.2
                                               FC1&2,3&4
18/10/2009   45.93   45.91   45.57   45.45     1'Open            No    13.80     0.8
                                               FC1&2,3&4
19/10/2009   45.95   45.93   45.57   45.46     1'Open            No    12.00     6.8
                                               1,2,3,4 Open 2'
20/10/2009   45.99   45.98   45.58   45.50     12.00             No    24.70     5.2

21/10/2009   46.02   45.91   45.61   45.52     1,2,3,4 Open 2'   No    59.75     4.6
                                               1,2,3,4 open 4'
22/10/2009   46.03   45.92   45.63   45.54     12.30             No    59.79     20

23/10/2009   46.23   45.87   45.70   45.61     1,2,3,4 open 4'   No    120.96    12

24/10/2009   46.23   45.86   45.69   45.65     1,2,3,4 open 4'   No    78.88     5.4
25/10/2009   46.40   46.05   45.83   45.74     FO 10.00          No    81.00    21.8
26/10/2009   46.40   45.89   45.89   45.80     FO                No    168.92    1.4
27/10/2009   46.37   45.90   45.90   45.87     FO                No    78.63     5.6
28/10/2009   46.37   45.95   45.94   45.87     FO                No    157.62    5.8
29/10/2009   46.35   45.92   45.92   45.86     FO                No    143.25    0.2
30/10/2009   46.31   45.91   45.91   45.86     FO                No    124.33    3.2
31/10/2009   46.47   45.96   45.95   45.87     FO                No    168.79     19
 1/11/2009   46.50   46.02   46.00   45.88     FO                No    162.12   14.4
 2/11/2009   46.76   46.11   46.07   46.01     FO                No    150.88    6.4
 3/11/2009   46.82   46.15   46.10   46.03     FO                No    185.38    6.4
 4/11/2009   46.95   46.27   46.19   46.14     FO                No    178.54   16.4
 5/11/2009   47.11   46.46   46.35   46.26     FO                Yes   227.37    7.8
 6/11/2009   47.19   46.39   46.29   46.26     FO                Yes   296.63    6.2
 7/11/2009   47.21   46.42   46.30   46.30     FO                Yes   293.04    5.8
 8/11/2009   47.21   46.42   46.31   46.28     FO                Yes   317.50    4.8
 9/11/2009   47.19   46.35   46.25   46.24     FO                Yes   310.46    0.2
10/11/2009   47.22   46.36   46.27   46.21     FO                Yes   306.15   11.2
11/11/2009   47.19   46.32   46.23   46.17     FO                Yes   291.58    0.2
12/11/2009   47.17   46.29   46.21   46.15     FO                Yes   298.23    8.4



                                             67

13/11/2009   47.25   46.30   46.21   46.15     FO                   Yes   295.80   10.4
14/11/2009   47.24   46.32   46.23   46.14     FO                   Yes   294.65   11.6
15/11/2009   47.29   46.29   46.20   46.13     FO                   Yes   293.86      0
16/11/2009   47.30   46.30   46.21   46.14     FO                   Yes   299.02   15.2
17/11/2009   47.42   46.40   46.29   46.24     FO                   Yes   310.36    9.2
18/11/2009   47.52   46.44   46.33   46.27     FO                   Yes   314.73   17.2
19/11/2009   47.69   46.50   46.36   46.31     FO                   Yes   313.33   13.8
20/11/2009   47.93   46.60   46.45   46.37     FO                   Yes   334.95     14
21/11/2009   48.03   46.61   46.45   46.44     FO                   Yes   336.65    0.6
22/11/2009   48.08   46.64   46.48   46.47     FO                   Yes   353.21    5.4
23/11/2009   48.15   46.76   46.58   46.55     FO                   Yes   355.17   17.6
24/11/2009   48.19   46.82   46.62   46.62     FO                   Yes   377.13      9
25/11/2009   48.25   46.90   46.69   46.68     FO                   Yes   377.50    6.6
26/11/2009   48.27   46.92   46.71   46.72     FO                   Yes   374.90    3.2
27/11/2009   48.24   46.93   46.72   46.73     FO                   Yes   386.60    3.8
28/11/2009   48.21   46.92   46.71   46.73     FO                   Yes   375.80    0.4
29/11/2009   48.14   46.92   46.71   46.71     FO                   Yes   372.80    0.2
30/11/2009   48.06   46.86   46.67   46.67     FO                   Yes   368.20      0
 1/12/2009   48.01   46.79   46.60   46.65     FO                   Yes   365.20    0.2
 2/12/2009   47.97   46.77   46.59   46.61     FO                   Yes   357.30    6.2
 3/12/2009   47.85   46.72   46.56   46.55     FO                   Yes   353.10    1.8
 4/12/2009   47.76   46.66   46.51   46.52     FO                   Yes   346.40    1.6
 5/12/2009   47.72   46.64   46.49   46.48     FO                   Yes   344.30      8
 6/12/2009   47.76   46.60   46.46   46.47     FO                   Yes   342.30    5.6
 7/12/2009   47.69   46.60   46.45   46.45     FO                   Yes   339.90    2.2
 8/12/2009   47.62   46.54   46.41   46.42     FO                   Yes   336.10    0.6
 9/12/2009   47.56   46.51   46.38   46.37     FO                   Yes   329.50      4
10/12/2009   47.47   46.47   46.35   46.33     FO                   Yes   327.30    0.6
11/12/2009   47.36   46.42   46.31   46.27     FO                   Yes   317.00    0.8
12/12/2009   47.24   46.34   46.25   46.20     FO                   Yes   308.70    0.2
13/12/2009   47.13   46.28   46.20   46.13     FO                   Yes   292.10    0.2
14/12/2009   47.02   46.22   46.15   46.05     FO                   Yes   283.10    0.2
15/12/2009   46.91   46.13   46.08   45.99     FO                   Yes   229.40    0.8
16/12/2009   46.80   46.09   46.05   45.97     FO                   No    194.00      0
17/12/2009   46.69   46.06   46.03   45.94     FO                   No    193.80    0.2
18/12/2009   46.60   46.01   45.98   45.91     FO                   No    190.80    0.2
19/12/2009   46.50   45.96   45.95   45.86     FO                   No    183.40    0.2
20/12/2009   46.41   45.81   45.91   45.80     FO                   No    190.70    1.8
21/12/2009   46.33   45.85   45.86   45.76     FO                   No    163.00    2.6
                                               FO Gates closed
22/12/2009   46.26   45.80   45.82   45.71     to 6' Open 1600      No    180.20      4
23/12/2009   46.19   45.81   45.76   45.67     All 6' Open          No    188.10    3.6
                                               6' Open Fully
24/12/2009   46.12   45.74   45.71   45.60     Closed 10.00am       No    165.90     0
25/12/2009   46.17   46.13   45.61   45.48     Fully Closed         No    164.80     0
                                               Fully Closed All
26/12/2009   46.24   46.20   45.53   45.38     Opened 2' at 14.30   No    129.10    0.2
27/12/2009   46.24   46.02   45.52   45.30     All Open 2'          No    130.50      6
28/12/2009   46.24   46.03   45.47   45.30     All Open 2'          No     87.70      0
                                               1 & 2 Open 2' 2 &
29/12/2009   46.21   46.00   45.46   45.30     3 Open 3' at 12.00   No    116.50     0
                                               1 & 4 Open 2' 2 &
30/12/2009   46.16   45.82   45.45   45.28     3 Open 3'            No    73.10     0.2




                                             68

                                                 1 & 4 Open 2' 2 &
31/12/2009     46.23   45.89   45.48   45.32     3 Open 3'           No   53.80   4.2

LEGEND

FO = FULLY OPEN
FC = FULLY CLOSED




                                               69

                                          ANNEX 3 





RIVERS AGENCY REPORT – FERMANAGH FLOODING 





                    70

  FERMANAGH FLOODING

        OF NOVEMBER 2009 





Prepared by:-

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Rivers Agency
Hydebank
4 Hospital Road
BELFAST
BT8 8JP                                           January 2010
                                CONTENTS                                   PAGE NO


1.    Executive Summary       .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..      1–2


2.    Introduction .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..        3–4


3.    Background .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..          5–8


4.    Preparedness      .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..     11 – 15 


5.    Influencing factors .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..        16 


6.    Response     .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..    17 – 20 


7.    Communications with the press and public         .. .. .. .. .. ..    21 – 22 


8.    Flooding from the Sillees River     .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..     23 – 24 


9.    Aspects which worked well .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..         25 – 27 


10.   Challenges    .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..      28 – 29 


11.   Suggestions for further improvements .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..            30 


12.   Lessons learnt .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..          31 


13.   Conclusions .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..        32 – 33 


14.   Recommendations .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..          34 – 35 





Annex 1   List of Participants at Structured Debrief

Annex 2   Aspects which worked well (Record of structured debrief)

Annex 3   Challenges (Record of structured debrief)

Annex 4   Improvements (Record of structured debrief)

Annex 5   Lessons Learnt (Record of structured debrief)

Annex 6   Tables and Hydrographs

Annex 7   Photographs
      Review of the Response to Flooding in Fermanagh
                      in November 2009
1.    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


1.1   The flooding in Fermanagh in November 2009 was an extreme event as a
      result of persistent rainfall throughout late October and November 2009.
      The water levels in Lough Erne reached record levels.


1.2   Only 3 properties were flooded but many more were isolated by the
      floodwaters and rural life was severely disrupted as roads became impassible.
      Vast areas of farmland were inundated although few stock were in the fields.


1.3   Water levels in the Loughs were drawn down in early October 2009 to
      increase storage capacity for the autumn and winter months and spilling of
      water at Cliff and Ballyshannon was carried out in accordance with legislation.


1.4   Co-ordination and communication between the different organisations
      involved worked well and substantial efforts were made to try to minimize the
      disruption to the public.


1.5   Construction of properties on higher ground significantly reduced the number
      of properties flooded.


1.6   Works to significantly increase the capacity of channels and control structures
      are not economically viable.


1.7   Rivers Agency in partnership with ESB will review operational arrangements
      within the existing legislation and also review the performance of the existing
      regime since its introduction in the 1950s.


1.8   Roads Service will examine the viability of raising critical roads including
      those at Boho where flooding from the Sillees River occurs.




                                          1
1.9    All agencies will draw on the lessons learnt from this event and seek
       improvement in all areas of Emergency Response including communication
       with the public.


1.10   Consideration should be given to establishing an agency to provide a strategic
       overview to the management of flooding.




                                         2
2.    INTRODUCTION


2.1   Due to persistent rainfall throughout late October and November 2009 water
      levels in Upper and Lower Lough Erne rose above prescribed upper limits and
      extensive flooding occurred in Fermanagh particularly around the area of the
      Upper Lough.


      This report outlines the current water management system for Lough Erne,
      and how this was applied during the event. It also examines the response by
      different agencies to the flooding event and makes recommendations for
      improvements in the future.


2.2   A meeting to review the multi agency response to the flooding in Fermanagh
      was held in Enniskillen on 19 January 2010. The debrief was facilitated and
      chaired by Rivers Agency, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
      Fermanagh District Council hosted the meeting.         A list of attendees is
      included in Annex 1.


      In advance of the debrief all responders were asked to re-examine their
      preparedness and response to the flooding event and to submit a short
      overview to Rivers Agency.


      This report reflects both the inputs from these overviews and points raised
      during the debrief. This document will be fed into the Fermanagh Task Force
      to assist it in its deliberations. The Task Force, led by OFMDFM, aims to
      produce an interim report by the end of February 2010.


2.3   The report considers two separate flooding events in Fermanagh in November
      2009. Whilst the main elements of this report are related to the flooding post
      19 November 2009 as a result of outflow from Upper and Lower Lough Erne,
      some reference is made to the situation at Boho which was as a result of
      inundation of the natural floodplain of the Sillies River on 4 November
      (See Photograph 1 – Section 8).


      More detail on the Sillees flooding is referenced in Section 8 page 24.

                                         3
2.4   The purpose of holding a review both from Rivers Agency perspective and the
      other responders is to try to capture any lessons learnt and for each
      organisation to then apply these points to further develop their own
      emergency planning arrangements for the future.


2.5   Participants at the review represented a wide range of public organisations, all
      of whom had been involved in the response to the flooding event or whose
      services had been impacted upon as a result of the flooding.


      The review did not take evidence from members of the public as this falls
      within the Terms of Reference of the Fermanagh Task Force. However some
      statutory authority representatives at the structured debrief had been present
      at the evidence gathering sessions.


2.6   The fundamental principles of emergency management are that processes
      are followed which assess, plan, prepare and respond to events and that the
      various activities of the responding organisations are joined up and co-
      ordinated to provide a service to those affected by an incident.


2.7   Any lessons learnt are detailed in this report and recommendations made as
      to how these should be taken on board.




                                          4
3.    BACKGROUND


3.1   There was limited control over water levels in Lough Erne and regular flooding
      occurrences until the Government interceded in 1941. However the World
      War II flying boat base on the Lower Lough made it necessary for levels to be
      kept up and while local farmers accepted this, they continued to press for a
      drainage scheme.


      In October 1947 the Prime Minister announced that cross border negotiations
      had started and the Erne Drainage and Development Act (Northern Ireland)
      1950 was passed on 27 June 1950.          This legislation and corresponding
      legislation in the south defined the current responsibilities of Rivers Agency
      and Electricity Supply Board (ESB) with respect to the management of water
      levels within the Erne System.


3.2   The River Erne, which rises from Lough Gowna in County Cavan, flows
      through County Fermanagh and to the sea at Ballyshannon in County
      Donegal. The river, which is some 100km long, drains an area of around
      4,350km2, of which 1,850km2 is in Counties Fermanagh and Tyrone.


      There are a large number of lakes in the catchment area upstream of
      Enniskillen. The largest is Upper Lough Erne which has a surface area of
      some 38km2.     Discharge from the Upper Lough passes through the inter
      lough channel to Lower Lough Erne (Surface Area approximately 111km2)
      and onwards through the Belleek Channel to Cliff where the first of two power
      stations is located. The second power station is located approximately 5km
      downstream at Cathaleens Falls (more commonly known as Ballyshannon).


      Sluice gates, (which can be used to control the water level in the Upper
      Lough) are located at Portora (See Map 1 and Photograph 2 at end of this
      section) in the inter lough channel. These are used primarily to maintain water
      in the Upper Lough above the lower prescribed limit.


      The water level of the Loughs is drawn down in October each year in order to
      maximise storage capacity in the Loughs to cope with the expected increase
      in rainfall during the autumn and winter months.
                                         5
      The Loughs provide storage in the system which is particularly important
      during winter as rainfall generally increases.   When inflow is too great water
      can be spilled at Cliff (usually during the winter) and if inadequate to sustain
      Upper Lough levels it can be held up by closing the Portora gates.        Where
      rain is persistent a situation can be reached, as was the case in this instance,
      where the inflow of water from the catchment into the Loughs substantially
      exceeded the amount that could be conveyed by the channels and passed
      through the system to the sea.


      The Erne catchment has a slow response to rainfall due to its size and
      the number of lakes and prolonged periods of rain give rise to flooding
      due to high lough levels. This is different from an urban area and the
      floods of June 2007 and August 2008 where periods of heavy rainfall
      over a relatively short period of time caused widespread flooding across
      the province.


      Flooding was mainly restricted to the Upper Lough area in November
      and early December 2009.         This is because the Upper Lough is small
      with relatively low lying ground adjacent whereas the Lower Lough is
      three times the size with higher ground surrounding the Lough.


3.4   As a result of the Erne Drainage and Development Act (Northern Ireland)
      1950 extensive works were undertaken on the Erne System which included:


      •   Deepening 6.4km of channel from Lower Lough Erne to Belleek
      •   Deepening 18.4km of channel between Upper and Lower Lough Erne
      •   Removal of the sluice gates at Belleek and regulation of the flow at Cliff
      •   Construction of a new control structure with navigation lock to facilitate
          passage of boats at Portora, Enniskillen
      •   Construction of a new dam and hydro power station at Cliff


      •   Construction of a new dam and hydro power station at Cathaleens Falls
          (Ballyshannon)
      •   Total power output 65Mw of hydro power.

                                          6
3.5   The Agreement enshrined in the 1950 Act set statutory water levels for Lower
      Lough Erne to Ordnance Datum (OD) at Poolbeg, Dublin as follows:-


      Lower Lough: Not to exceed 46.33m (152 feet) or fall below 44.81m (147
      feet)


      No absolute statutory upper level was set for the Upper Lough but the
      following was included:


      (a)     “during the period from April to September inclusive the water level of
              the Upper Lough, shall not, as far as reasonably preventable, exceed
              a level of 154 feet above OD” (46.94m).


      (b)     “during the period from October to March inclusive the water level of the
              Upper Lough shall not, as far as reasonably preventable, exceed a
              level of 155 feet above OD” (47.24)m.


      In addition the inter lough Channel was not to fall below 150 feet (45.72m).
      Effectively the limit of the inter lough channel determines the lower limit of the
      Upper Lough.       The level at Cliff cannot be drawn below 143 feet (43.59m)
      although the realistic minimum level is 144 feet 4 inches (44.0m).


      During an extreme event ESB is obliged to maintain the level at Cliff at
      43.59m (143 feet) and it is the limiting capacity of the Belleek Channel which
      has the main influence on the level within the Lower Lough. In practice the
      minimum level for Cliff is 44.0m (144 feet 4 inches) as below this level the
      increase in discharge of water achieved in the Belleek Channel is minimum,
      around 5.0m3/s and as discharge increases this is reduced. In addition as the
      level approaches 44.0m (144 feet 4 inches) or below, the discharge becomes


      hydraulically unstable and it becomes difficult to maintain a steady headrace
      at Cliff.


      To convert Poolbeg OD to Belfast OD it is necessary to deduct 9.25 feet
      (2.82m).
                                           7
For convenience upper limits for the Loughs are summarised at top of pages
11 to 13.


The Agreement also states that between October and March when the water
level of the Upper Lough has risen to 154 feet above OD and is in the opinion
of a Rivers Agency Engineer or an ESB Engineer likely to rise above 155 feet
OD, then the water level of the Lower Lough (if it is above 151.5 feet above
OD) shall as rapidly as reasonably practicable be reduced by ESB to
such a level no lower than 151.5 feet above OD. This is to ensure that the
water level of the Upper Lough may be prevented from rising above or be
brought down to 155 feet above OD.


‘As rapidly as reasonably practicable’ effectively means that water should be
directed through the turbines to generate hydroelectric power and the
spillways at Cliff and Ballyshannon utilised to dissipate the maximum flow that
the Belleek channel can accommodate.


Water levels within the Erne system are monitored daily and regular
contact is maintained between Rivers Agency and ESB. Met Office and
Met Éireann rain forecasts and weather warnings provide essential
information and are a vital tool in the decision making process.




                                   8
BALLYSHANNON



               LOWER LOUGH ERNE
  CLIFF




                                             INTER
                                             LOUGH
                                             CHANNEL




                                          UPPER
                                          LOUGH
                                          ERNE




                                  MAP 1
                                     9

10




     To prevent level of Upper Lough falling below 150ft to protect:
         • clay foundations in Enniskillen
         • navigation & boating interests


                  PHOTO 2 – Sluice gates at Portora
      Lower Lough    –       Not to exceed 46.33m (152 feet)
      Upper Lough    –       No statutory upper limit
                             Not, if reasonably preventable, to exceed 46.94m (154 feet) – summer
                             Not, if reasonably preventable, to exceed 47.24m (155 feet) – winter


4.    PREPAREDNESS


4.1   Navigation and other interests require higher minimum lough levels
      during the summer months but the intention is always to try to reduce
      levels to the lowest achievable level from 1 October to allow for winter
      storage.      While this is not always possible due to autumn rainfall
      patterns, in October 2009 it was achieved as the first half of the month
      was virtually dry.


      The rainfall in October was 101% in County Fermanagh compared to the
      Long Term Average. 125mm was recorded at Portora against an average of
      117.45mm (See Table 2).           Only 5% of October’s rainfall fell up to 16
      October 2009. 95% of this rainfall fell after the 16 October 2009.


4.2   Lough Levels – period prior to persistant rainfall
      1 October – 17 October 2009

4.2.1 The gates at Portora were fully open on 1 October to assist in drawing down
      the Upper Lough level to maximise winter storage.                     They were closed
      between 7 and 14 October to maintain the Upper Lough above the minimum
      prescribed level and were gradually opened from 14 October to control flows
      between the loughs. .



       Date              Upper Lough                          Lower Lough

       1 October         46.02m (151 feet)                    45.9m (150 feet 7½ inches)
       7 October         45.78 (150 feet 2 inches)            45.62m (149 feet 8 inches)

4.3   Lough Levels – period with persistent rain prior to spilling
      (18 October – 4 November 2009)

4.3.1 Inflow to the system exceed outflow and both loughs continued to rise. The
      gates at Portora were fully opened on 25 October.


                                              11
      Lower Lough   –       Not to exceed 46.33m (152 feet)
      Upper Lough   –       No statutory upper limit
                            Not, if reasonably preventable, to exceed 46.94m (154 feet) – summer
                            Not, if reasonably preventable, to exceed 47.24m (155 feet) – winter


4.3.2 On the 4 November both loughs were below the targeted winter levels and no
      flooding was occurring other than from the Sillees River at Boho which is not
      caused by rising lough levels.



       Date             Upper Lough                          Lower Lough

       18 October       45.93m (150 feet 8 inches)           45.45m (149 feet 1 inch)
       4 November       46.95 (154 feet 1 inch)              46.14m (151 feet 5 inches)


4.4   Lough Levels - period prior to peak when spilling
      (5 November – 27 November 2009)

4.4.1 Conditions for spilling were reached and ESB in consultation with Rivers
      Agency commenced spilling at Cliff on 5 November.


4.4.2 With the gates at Portora open and spillage and generation of power being
      undertaken to maximise possible outflow, this had the desired effect of
      slowing down/stablising the rise of the water level in the Upper Lough.


      Reference Hydrograph 1 which illustrates the slowing of the rate of rise
      between Points A and B. Point C illustrates the lowest level reached on
      7 October and Point D illustrates the peak reached on 26 November
      2009.


4.4.3 Spilling initially caused the levels in the Lower Lough to reduce between
      Points A and B on Hydrograph 2 but rainfall intensified from the 14 November
      and 53.2mm was recorded at Portora in the following five days. The Lower
      Lough started to rise again and exceeded its upper limit on 19 November.
      (Point C Hydrograph 2) before peaking some 0.4m above this level on
      27 November (Point E).




                                             12
      Lower Lough   –      Not to exceed 46.33m (152 feet)
      Upper Lough   –      No statutory upper limit
                           Not, if reasonably preventable, to exceed 46.94m (154 feet) – summer
                           Not, if reasonably preventable, to exceed 47.24m (155 feet) – winter


4.4.4 The initial lowering of the Lower Lough eventually stablised the level in the
      Upper Lough just below the winter limit but the increase in intensity of rainfall
      from 14 November caused the level to rise sharply eventually peaking on
      26 November some 1.03m above the prescribed limit (Point D Hydrograph 1)


4.4.5 Reports from Roads Service covering 15-16 November 2009 indicated there
      was no road flooding in Fermanagh although heavy rain had caused road
      flooding in other parts of the North. By 18 November reports from Roads
      Service were starting to indicate road flooding around the Upper Lough mainly
      and the Boho area.


      From 27 November 2009 both the Upper and Lower Lough levels started to
      fall.



       Date              Upper Lough                          Lower Lough

       5 November        47.11m (154 feet 7 inches)           46.26m (151 feet 9 inch)
       14 November       47.24m (155 feet)                    46.14m (151 feet 5 inches)
       26 November       48.27m (158 feet 4 inches)           46.72m (153 feet 3½ inches)


4.5   Sandbag Stores and Pumps
4.5.1 As is normal prior to any anticipated flooding, Rivers Agency replenished
      sandbag supplies in both Fermanagh and Omagh, and several thousand
      sandbags were available for delivery and placement. Pumps were checked to
      ensure that they were in good working order.           Grilles and culverts were also
      checked and cleared.


4.6   Contact with Others
4.6.1 Regular contact was maintained prior to the event with staff in ESB. This is
      normal practice in management of the Lough Erne levels.




                                            13
4.6.2 On 2 October 2009 an email was sent to Waterways Ireland advising that as it
      was October, Rivers Agency would be seeking to reduce the water levels in
      the Loughs to provide storage for winter rains and that the control structure
      and lock gates at Portora would be adjusted accordingly. Waterways Ireland
      is the navigation authority for the Erne System.


      Further contact was made with Waterways Ireland on 4 November to advise
      them of the rising lough levels. Fermanagh District Council was also alerted
      by telephone in early November that Rivers Agency was becoming concerned
      by the rising levels in the loughs and of the distinct possibility of flooding,
      particularly around the Upper Lough and Enniskillen itself.


      In mid-November contact was also made with Roads Service specifically in
      relation to the strong possibility of flooding.


4.6.3 Fermanagh District Council was contacted by Rivers Agency on 16 November
      2009 and advised that the caravan park at Lisnaskea was in danger of
      flooding.   The Caravan park was sub-let but contact was made with the
      leasee which allowed the caravans to be moved out to safety.


      Contact was also instigated on 18 November with the Western Group
      Emergency Planning Co-ordinator to advise about the strong possibility of
      extensive flooding.


      The Emergency Planning Co-Ordinator relayed this information to Fermanagh
      District Council.   On 19 November a telephone conference call was held
      between Rivers Agency, Roads Service and Fermanagh District Council. An
      Emergency Planning Implementation Group meeting, with representation from
      each council department, was held in the Council offices and each
      department ensured that Business Continuity Plans were up to date.


      On Friday 20 November Castle Parks Centre, Lisnaskea was organised as
      temporary provision for Share Centre residents.


      The Emergency Planning Co-Ordinator contacted all relevant organisations as
      listed in Annex 1. This also included the Met Office and Marine Coastguard
                                           14
Agency. A telephone conference call pool was organised to ensure that a co-
ordinated multi-agency response to the situation was followed.        This
conference call arrangement was continued over the weekend and allowed
each organisation to inform each other what their response capacity was and
other proposed actions they were planning to take.




                                  15
5.    INFLUENCING FACTORS


5.1   The major influencing factor in the flooding event was the amount of rain that
      fell from mid-October through to late-November 2009. Between 17 October
      and 27 November 2009 336.8mm of rain were recorded at Portora. During
      this period, 15 November 2009 was the only day when no rain was recorded.
      For the month of November the rainfall was recorded as 226.40mm against a
      long term average of 103.25mm (See Table 2 – Rainfall records from 1988).


      The rain in late October and November 2009 in Fermanagh was a rainfall
      event well in excess of a 1 in 100 year event. A 1 in 100 year event means
      there is a 100 to 1 chance in any one year of an occurrence happening.


5.2   The heavy rain in mid to late October 2009 caused the ground in the
      catchment to become saturated by early November. Met Éireann’s website
      confirms this. This effectively meant that from early November all rain falling
      in the catchment ran off into the rivers and loughs.


5.3   The other major restricting factor during the flooding event is the capacity of
      both the inter lough channel which connects the Upper Lough to the Lower
      Lough and the Belleek Channel. These are sized to accommodate sufficient
      flow, that when combined with storage in the lough system, significant
      flooding only occurs during extreme events.


      A similar restriction occurs in the channel through Belleek which runs towards
      Cliff.


      The Cliff dam controls the water levels in the Lower Lough.        The design
      capacity of the power station combined with spillage can effectively disperse
      the maximum amount of water that can be conveyed by the Belleek Channel.


      All these restrictions means that, between spillage and water required for
      generation, the amount of water that could normally be discharged is 330m3/s.
      At some stages during the flooding event 385m3/s were being discharged due
      to the unprecedented head differential across the system.

                                         16
6.    RESPONSE


6.1   Telephone Calls
6.1.1 During November telephone calls were received by the three drainage
      agencies as detailed below:-


            Organisation             Calls received from   Calls received directly
                                    Flooding Incident Line       into offices

       Rivers Agency                            18                         29
       Road Service                             44                         43
       NI Water                                  6                         15

       TOTAL                                    68                         87



      Some of the calls were related to flooding from the Sillees River.


      In addition to the above approximately 100 calls were received by Rivers
      Agency from the public seeking advice on the levels within the Loughs.


      The total calls requesting assistance was less than 200. In an urban area in a
      large flooding event this figure would be much higher. This low level of calls
      may be attributable to the resilience of the existing population in and around
      the Lough.


6.2   Sandbags and Pumping
6.2.1 As part of the response several hundred sandbags were delivered to two
      nursing homes and left on site although they were not required to be placed
      as the homes did not flood.


      Fermanagh District Council technical staff worked with Translink and the
      Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) to ensure that the Bus
      Depot did not become impassable and also that the Lakeland Forum car park
      could be kept partially open.            Fermanagh District Council employed
      approximately six tonnes of sandbags and a portable water pump to ensure
      the flood levels were kept to a minimum.          The NIFRS also deployed a

                                          17
      pumping appliance to aid this process.       Fermanagh District Council also
      negotiated with the business owners in the Derrychara link to provide
      pedestrian access to the worst affected properties from Tesco end of the Link.
      Signage and pedestrian guard rails/crowd control barriers were used to
      enable this.


      Sandbags were also delivered by Rivers Agency and Roads Service to
      Quay Pass (near Erneside Shopping Centre) and placed. On Friday 20
      November one pump was delivered to the site and by Tuesday 24 November
      2009 this had been increased to five pumps. By Tuesday 24 November 2009
      it had become evident that pumping alone would not keep the road open.
      Therefore between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning over 700 tonnes
      of stone and bitmac were brought in by Roads Service to raise the road level.


      The principle objective of the works was to avoid traffic gridlock in the town.
      The roads between Derrylin and Lisnaskea and at Carrybridge, which are the
      only two east-west crossing points on the Upper Lough, were not passable to
      normal traffic. The main roads through Enniskillen became the alternative
      shortest route for commuters. If Quay Pass had closed traffic would have had
      to go through Gaol Square and Derrychara Road junctions. This would have
      caused the Wellington Road and Dublin Road to be grid locked and in
      addition would have created a major problem for Blue Light services to
      respond to any other emergency.


6.2.2 A similar exercise was considered but ruled out on the Derrychara Link road
      as it was impracticable to isolate the area to allow pumping.


6.3   Conference Calls
6.3.1 From 20 November right through to and including 9 December 2009 a daily
      telephone conference call was held at noon each day and the following
      organisations participated:-


      BT
      Emergency Planning Co-ordinator Western Group of Councils
      Fermanagh District Council
      Marine Coastguard Agency
                                         18
      Northern Ireland Ambulance Service
      NIE
      Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service
      Northern Ireland Housing Executive
      NI Water
      Police Service of Northern Ireland
      Rivers Agency
      Roads Service
      Western Education and Library Board
      Western Health and Social Care Trust


      During the telephone conference call each day organisations were updated on
      the situation and daily actions were allocated to each appropriate
      organisation.


6.3.2 Meetings were held and chaired by Fermanagh District Council or the
      Emergency Planning Co-ordinator on 23, 25 and 27 November 2009 and 2
      December.       These meetings were also attended by Western Health and
      Social Care Trust, Rivers Agency, Police Service for Northern Ireland, Roads
      Service, NI Water and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. The meetings
      were arranged for 10am so that any actions could be relayed to the other
      organisations on the daily telephone conference call at 12pm.


      These meetings highlighted that due to the rurality of the area and the fact
      that some families were “cut off” that distribution of essential supplies may
      become an issue.       On 27 November Fermanagh Council delivered food
      supplies to one family and Rivers Agency offered to provide staff and boats to
      carry food and supplies to any member of the public due to the extreme
      nature of the event.


6.4   Aerial Photographs
      Aerial photographs were taken of the extent of the flooding on three dates
      throughout November 2009. The area around the Sillees River was flown on
      9 November and the area around Upper Lough Erne particularly was flown on
      20 and 26 November 2009. 20 November was the date that roads were

                                           19
starting to become impassable and 26 November was when the levels in the
Loughs peaked.


These were available to all participants to target assistance to those cut off by
floodwaters.   Aerial photography is important in identifying the extent of
flooding for historical records and future developments and will aid in the
delivery of the EU Floods Directive.




                                   20
7.    COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE MEDIA AND PUBLIC

7.1   More than 50 media queries and interview requests relating to the November
      2009 flooding were dealt with by the Minister for Agriculture and Rural
      Development and Rivers Agency officials prior to and for the duration of the
      flooding event.       Similarly Department of Regional Development (DRD)
      Officials dealt with more than 20 media queries and interview requests.
      These are summarised in the table below.


            Type of     Number of    Number of       DARD       Number of    Number of
             media        Rivers       Rivers       Minister       DRD          DRD
             outlet       Agency       Agency      interviews   statements   interviews
                        statements   interviews                   issued     completed
                          issued     completed
          Television         2            5            3            -            4

          Radio              6            8            3            -            6

          Daily              12           2            1            7             -
          newspaper

          Regional           12           1            2            6             -
          newspapers

          Sub Total          32          16            9            13           10


          TOTAL: 75



      The content of the statements and interviews were tailored to individual
      requests but typically included the following information:
      -     explanation of the Erne system and the rainfall event
      -     advice to the public on what to do in the event of the flooding and relevant
            contact numbers, for example, Flooding Incident Line
      -     update on Lough levels and current flooding situation
      -     details of work that Rivers Agency and others were undertaking to help
            alleviate flooding


      In addition Fermanagh District Council, Rivers Agency and the Western
      Health and Care Trust jointly released two press releases.




                                              21
The   Department     of   Agriculture   and   Rural   Development     Minister,
Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA, visited Fermanagh on 24 November to see the
extent of the flooding. Furthermore the Minister returned to Fermanagh on
27 November with the Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MP, MLA to
again see the situation first hand and to meet with local people.       These
meetings were also attended by senior officials from Rivers Agency.


The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster MLA and the
First Minister Peter Robinson, MP, MLA visited the area on 28 November
2009 to assess the situation.


The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Minister also made a
statement to the Assembly on 30 November 2009 concerning the flooding in
Fermanagh.


As the flooding event moved from the response to the recovery phase,
Fermanagh District Council assumed the lead role from Rivers Agency and
this was formally handed over on 4 December 2009.




                                   22
8.    FLOODING FROM THE SILLEES RIVER


8.1   Flooding from the Sillees River around Boho occurred in early November
      2009. (See Photograph 1 overleaf) The flooding, which happens regularly in
      times of heavy rainfall, inundates farmland and roads which are constructed
      across the natural floodplain of the river. No property was flooded but local
      road communication was extremely difficult and affected access for primary
      school children attending Killyhommon Primary School at exam time.


8.2   Feasibility studies to try to resolve the problem have been undertaken by
      Rivers Agency, most recently in 2008. Solutions to upgrade the watercourse
      and options to divert headwater into Lower Lough Erne were examined.
      Conclusions were that the costs of diverting headwaters were prohibitive
      because works would require extensive tunneling in an area of porous
      limestone. Works were estimated to cost of the order of £6m to £10m well in
      excess of the benefit afforded, primarily due to the alleviation of road flooding.
      No cost beneficial scheme re-routing the line of the river is feasible.


8.3   The Sillees catchment is a natural and beautiful area and extensive
      engineering works would cause considerable modification to a natural river. It
      is likely this would raise considerable environmental opposition if proposed.




                                          23
24




     PHOTO 1 – Out of bank and road flooding at Sillees River
9.    ASPECTS WHICH WORKED WELL


9.1   Aspects which worked well, identified at the structured debrief and attributed
      to different organisations, are detailed in Annex 2. The comments received
      from the various organisations were collated as follows:- Preparedness,
      Communication, Co-ordination, Response and Information to the Public and
      the Media.


9.2   Preparedness
9.2.1 Agencies were able to instigate contingency plans as the conference calls had
      given warning of extensive flooding. Fire and Rescue Service had been able
      to maintain operational response to fires and rescues and had relocated its
      Specialist Rescue Team to Lisnaskea.


      ESB had been able to maintain water levels at Cliff at 44m (144 feet 4 inches)
      throughout the duration of the flooding event, to maximise flow accrued
      through the system.


      Western Education and Library Board was able to utilise other premises so
      pupils attending Moat Primary School in Lisnaskea and who lived on the
      western side of Upper Lough Erne were able to be facilitated resulting in only
      one school day being lost throughout the period of the flooding. Pupils
      attending other schools in the Lisnaskea area who were unable to get to
      school were able to be facilitated by their schools through use of Internet
      access. (Staff and pupils had to make extraordinary efforts to achieve this).


      Rivers Agency put staff on call and ensured sufficient supplies of sandbags
      were available.


9.3   Communication between organisations
9.3.1 Overall communications between the different organisations/agencies worked
      very well. A number of responders found the daily conference calls which
      updated water levels in the loughs and road closures particularly useful.
      These conference calls highlighted the fact that the BT Network in Fermanagh
      was working well. This had been a concern as the number of telephone calls
      from the public seeking assistance was low.
                                         25
9.4   Co-ordination
9.4.1 Many organisations stated that co-ordination between the different agencies
      had been very good. Notification of the possibility of widespread flooding had
      allowed Fire and Rescue Service to liaise and establish the level of additional
      resources that were available from southern colleagues in Belturbet,
      Ballyconnell and Clones.


9.4.2 The conference call arrangements were highlighted by a number of
      organisations as an effective means of sharing information and being kept up
      to date on the situation.


9.4.3 NI Water was able to take pro-active measures at Killyhevlin Water Treatment
      Works as result of the provision of water levels and prediction data from
      Rivers Agency. If the Treatment Works had flooded, there would have been
      the potential for a pollution incident on the Lough and the water supply to
      Enniskillen and the surrounding area would have seen substantial disruption.
      Rivers Agency had previously given advice on construction levels for the
      Treatment Works as part of the Planning process.


9.5   Response
9.5.1 Staff goodwill was commended by participants where it was noted that local
      staff had worked long hours to assist in the response. It was recognised that
      good local knowledge had been of invaluable assistance and Fermanagh
      District Council noted that where a problem had been identified prompt action
      was taken to try to alleviate it.        Roads Service noted that although its
      resources had been stretched, it had managed to borrow signs indicating
      flooding and road closures from other depots to ensure that all key flooding
      locations had been signed to alert the public to the danger.


9.5.2 ESB recorded that they had managed unprecedented water discharges
      through Cliff and Ballyshannon.


9.6   Information to the Public and the Media
9.6.1 The fact that timely information was provided to the media was seen as a
      success.    The DARD Minister and Rivers Agency had responded to more
                                          26
      than 50 media requests.           This included participating in TV and radio
      interviews.


      The First and Deputy First Ministers and the Enterprise, Trade and Investment
      Minister also visited the area.


      Roads Service had regularly updated the traffic watch website with the lists of
      roads that were impassable and DRD officials also responded to more than
      20 media requests including broadcast interviews.


9.7   It should also be noted that in areas close to Upper Lough Erne, farming
      neighbours helped each other and assisted in transporting children to school
      and delivering of groceries.




                                           27
10.    CHALLENGES


10.1   Comments relating to future challenges were also collated and grouped into
       the same five categories, namely Preparedness, Communication, Co-
       ordination, Response and Information to the Public and the Media.


10.2   Preparedness
10.2.1 The Emergency Planning Co-ordinator noted that wider issues had arisen that
       are not currently covered in the multi agency flood plan.


       Housing Executive will review its plans if a housing estate was to be flooded.


10.3   Communication within and between organisations
10.3.1 Although communications between the different responders had worked well
       the Ambulance Service believed that dissemination of information internally
       could be reviewed to seek improvement.


       The Education and Library Board stated that they had made available canoes
       and inflatables complete with trained staff and this facility while not needed
       during this event, could be put to use in future incidents.       Therefore an
       inventory of these resources should be made available and included in an
       area Flood Plan.


10.3.2 BT noted that interaction between the Council, Rivers Agency and themselves
       was verbal. A short written situation report may have been useful.


       Housing Executive suggested that it needs to explain its statutory role to offer
       temporary accommodation in these situations more widely including that
       payment is required.


10.4   Co-ordination
10.4.1 It was noted that although co-ordination was very good between the different
       agencies there maybe should have been a round table meeting between all
       those involved rather than just the core responders eg Housing Executive, BT
       and NIE should also have been included.

                                          28
10.4.2 The issue of possible over dependence on local knowledge was raised and
       the PSNI mentioned that at the very early stages of the incident there were no
       lines of responsibility on who should take the lead.


       Western Health and Social Care Trust highlighted that there was some
       confusion with clarity of roles particularly internally.


10.5   Response
10.5.1 Roads Service, Western Health and Social Care Trust and the PSNI all
       mentioned that their own vehicles had limitations in working in floodwaters.
       More access to 4 x 4 vehicles would have been useful.


10.5.2 The Emergency Planning Co-ordinator noted that identification of vulnerable
       people had not been carried out until 25 November 2009. Education and
       Library Board recorded that although not many houses had been flooded,
       several were cut off and they had no immediate specific details or locations on
       the pupils affected.


10.6   Information to the Public and the Media
10.6.1 Rivers Agency suggested that there was some public misperception regarding
       the operational restrictions of Lough Erne, particularly in relation to the
       drawing down of Lough levels.


10.6.2 There was a general feeling that more single multi-agency press releases
       should have been issued on behalf of the wider group of agencies involved.


       Emergency Planning Co-ordinator mentioned that a public relations role may
       be required from the Council to ensure that the public are made aware of the
       prolonged nature of the floods and precautions to take.


       Flooding Incident Line (FIL) mentioned that more promotion of the Flooding
       Incident Line number was required.




                                             29
11.    SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS


11.1   Local Resilience Fora were identified as having a key role in future
       arrangements. The only current forum in place is Belfast Resilience Forum
       which is led by the PSNI and the Council and whose members include
       representatives from all appropriate public sector organisations and the
       voluntary sector.


11.2   Several     organisations   highlighted   that   improved   public   relations/
       communications would help develop multi-agency relationships for any future
       events.


11.3   The possibility of a central location for a co-ordination centre should be
       explored.


11.4   The majority of the organisations believed it would be beneficial to have a
       lead agency for co-ordination of widespread flooding events.    This role had
       initially been filled by Rivers Agency and at recovery phase had been passed
       to Fermanagh District Council.




                                          30
12.    LESSONS LEARNT


12.1   A number of lessons learnt were mentioned including the benefits of local
       knowledge and early identification of a lead agency.


12.2   The historical high levels of the Upper Lough, in particular,prior to the ‘Erne
       Summer Relief Scheme’ in the 1950s, has restricted development in the
       floodplain.   Recent Planning policy has also restricted developments and
       these combined, significantly reduced the likelihood of flooding of property.


12.3   The importance of a pro-active approach and early communication with the
       media was acknowledged.


12.4   The social impact of a flood of this magnitude was mentioned as well as the
       benefits in the inter agency co-operation.




                                          31
13.    CONCLUSIONS


13.1   The flooding event in Fermanagh was as a consequence of persistent rainfall
       from mid-October through November 2009, with 336.8mm of rain falling in this
       timeframe. The water level in the Upper Lough peaked at 48.27m (158 feet
       5 inches).   This was the highest level recorded since the Erne Drainage
       Scheme was completed, some 0.5m above the previous record.


13.2   Bearing in mind that the rainfall event was well in excess of a 1 in 100 year
       event and taking account of the lough records, this flooding event was
       extreme. There is also no doubt that if the lough levels had not been drawn
       down in early October 2009 that more extensive flooding would have
       occurred.


13.3   Water level control was exercised in accordance with the current legislation.


13.4   Co-ordination and co-operation between the different responders was sound.


13.5   This type of event is only likely to happen in winter during periods of persistent
       rainfall. There are few animals or crops in the field at this time of the year.


13.6   Two houses and the Share Centre were actually flooded, although a
       significant number of properties were cut off for a period of weeks. Whilst the
       Western Health and Social Care Trust has a record of vulnerable people, a
       more systematic record of establishing which homes are cut off should be
       examined.


13.7   The number of houses flooded was relatively low, partially due to the
       application of Planning policy which restricts carrying out development in the
       floodplain. The floodplain is normally defined as the extent of land that would
       be flooded by a 1 in 100 year flood event. Many of the houses in Fermanagh
       are sensibly sited on higher ground, some of which predate the 1950s
       Drainage Scheme, which considerably lowered Lough levels.


13.8   The response to this type of extensive flooding is limited as placing of
       sandbags is not a viable option to contain the rising lough levels. The focus
                                           32
       should be to protect critical infrastructure and keep the road network open as
       far as possible. In this case at an early stage there was good co-ordination
       between all the responding agencies.


13.9   Flooding in the area of the Sillees River happens more regularly but no cost
       beneficial scheme to re-route the river is available. Roads Service may wish
       to consider raising the roads locally to help access but it is appreciated that
       ground conditions pose difficulties.


13.10 To significantly increase the capacity of the system the inter lough and
       Belleek channels would require major works and subsequent loss of land due
       to channel widening. Costs of at least £20 million could be anticipated as
       there are extensive areas of rock in the channel.


13.11 The Structured Debrief itself was worthwhile and all participants engaged in a
       positive manner. The points made by organisations should assist them in the
       further development of their emergency arrangements.




                                          33
14.    RECOMMENDATIONS


Control of Water Levels
14.1   The operating regime, applied within the current legislation should be
       reviewed by Rivers Agency and ESB to investigate if there is any scope for
       improvement.


14.2   The performance of the existing regime which has been in place since the
       1950s should be reviewed.     This will inform the need for a review of the
       current legislation.


14.3   Any further review of levels must take account of the environmental
       designation particularly on the Upper Lough. The Upper Lough is a Special
       Protection Area (SPA) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).          The
       Habitats Directive, which is European legislation, applies to SPAs and SACs.


       The Upper Lough also has nine Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs) of
       which Belleisle, Trannish and Crom are arguably the three most important.
       The Upper Lough is also a RAMSAR site.


14.4   Any review of levels must also take account of the navigational interests
       which involve Waterways Ireland, (the responsible authority for navigation
       within the Erne system). Water based recreation and tourism generate vital
       income in Fermanagh.


Emergency Response
14.5   It is recommended that all organisations involved in the response to and
       recovery from the flooding in Fermanagh use the lessons learnt from the
       review to further develop their own emergency planning arrangements.
       Opportunity should also be taken to further develop contact.


14.6   A structured process should be established to carry out ‘desk top’ exercises
       every two to three years to ensure that agencies maintain contact and co-
       ordination arrangements between each other.



                                         34
14.7   Facilities to obtain rainfall information for the whole catchment should be
       examined.


Government Response
14.8   Consideration should be given to establishing an agency to provide a strategic
       overview to the management of flooding in Northern Ireland particularly in the
       medium to long term. This agency may also be responsible for ensuring that
       all agencies and organisations have adequate emergency arrangements and
       plans in place should a similar flooding event occur in the future as will be
       required by the Floods Directive within Flood Risk Management Plans.


14.9   Planning Policies restricting developments in the floodplain should be strictly
       applied to help eliminate the risk of property flooding should a similar event
       occur in the future.


Improvement Works
14.10 Consideration should be given to examining the viability of raising critical
       roads.


14.11 Rivers    Agency     and   Roads   Service   should   examine    whether   joint
       improvements can be made to the Derrychara Link area.


Awareness
14.12 Rivers Agency, in conjunction with ESB, should draw up a short brochure
       explaining how the Erne system works and this should be distributed to
       schools in Fermanagh. Rivers Agency should also examine opportunities to
       add to previous presentations they have given on the Erne system to improve
       public awareness.




                                         35
                                                                         ANNEX 1



     LIST OF PARTICIPANTS AT STRUCTURED DEBRIEF

Electricity Supply Board (ESB) 


Fermanagh District Council (FDC) 


Flooding Incident Line (FIL) 


Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) 


Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) 


Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) 


Northern Ireland Water (NIW) 


Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) 


Rivers Agency (RA) 


Roads Service (RS) 


Western Group of Councils - Emergency Planning Co-Ordinator

(Western Group EPCO) 


Western Education and Library Board (WELB) 


Western Health Trust (WHSCT) 


In addition although not able, to attend the debrief written comments were received
from:-


BT (BT) 


Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE)

Annexes 2 to 5 record the comments received from different
organisations at the structured debrief

                                                                         ANNEX 2

                    ASPECTS WHICH WORKED WELL

PREPARDNESS

•	 Kept water levels at Cliff down at 44.0m AOD for the duration of the flood event
   (ESB)

•	 Contingency planning to enable operational response to fires and rescues
   maintained as far as possible during the flooding period (NIFRS)

•	 Draw down of water levels in loughs had already been carried out in preparation
   (Rivers Agency)

•	 Planning policy PPS15. Although many roads closed and properties had been
   cut-off, very little properties actually flooded. (Rivers Agency)

•	 Plans in place to closely monitor the weather conditions and numbers of faults
   caused by flooding. Local incident centre based at Lackaboy Industrial Estate in
   Enniskillen can be escalated within less than an hour. We also have contact
   numbers for local boat owners who are agreeable to help if and when required.
   (NIE)
                                                                 ANNEX 2 cont’d


COMMUNICATION

•	 Daily updates, conference calls and allocation of actions (Western Group EPCO)

•	 Regular updates from Roads Service detailing roads closed due to flooding
   (NIFRS)

•	 Internal communications worked well (WHSCT)

•	 Good communication between all agencies (NIHE)

•	 Prompt communication with Emergency Planning coordination from local council
   (WELB)

•	 Daily water level updates from Rivers Agency (WELB)

•	 Daily weather forecasts (WELB)

•	 Road service updates (WELB)

•	 Road closure updates from Roads Service (PSNI)

•	 Updates on what roads closed was essential for core business (NIAS)

•	 Updates on the state of the BT network in the Fermanagh area, including
   information on any cable faults, together with general level of customer fault
   reports. Joan expressed some concern that as the council was not receiving
   many telephone calls from the public, there may be a problem with the telephone
   network. I assured her that this was not the case. (BT)

•	 Participation in a number of conference calls during the flooding and raised a
   concern about whether or not the telephone exchange in Enniskillen was in
   danger of flooding. If this had happened, this would have had a potentially
   catastrophic effect on communications in the Fermanagh area. Happily this did
   not occur and thanks to an on-site meeting with the Rivers Agency we were able
   to have reassurance on this important subject. (BT)
                                                                    ANNEX 2 cont’d

CO-ORDINATION

•	 Prompt action from Friday 20th. (Western Group EPCO)

•	 Notification and all agencies aware of problems over the weekend prior to
   Monday 23rd (Western Group EPCO)

•	 Good local knowledge of responding agencies – Rivers Agency, NIFRS and
   Council (Western Group EPCO)

•	 Cross border liaison with resources in Belturbet, Ballyconnell and Clones (NIFRS)

•	 Lines available 24hours every day to take calls from public, raising incidents then
   transfer to relevant flooding responding agency (Flooding Incident Line)

•	 No difficulty dealing with volume of calls. 44 incidents recorded in Fermanagh
   (Flooding Incident Line)

•	 Liaison with NIAS, NIFRS, PSNI and Rivers Agency good (WHSCT)

•	 Willing co-operation of all agencies to share information and participate in
   conference calls (Fermanagh District Council)

•	 Conference calls were very successful (NIHE)

•	 Provision of water levels and predictions from Rivers Agency to allow pro-active
   response to events at Killyhevlin Water Treatment Works (NIW)

•	 Notification and coordination and effective action by Emergency Planning group
   (WELB)

•	 Local knowledge invaluable (WELB)

•	 Daily conference call (WELB)

•	 On site coordination between PSNI, Roads Service and Rivers Agency (WELB)

•	 Daily interagency conference call (PSNI)

•	 Anticipation of daily effects and consequences (PSNI)

•	 Boat deployments in conjunction with NIFRS (PSNI)

•	 Interagency communication and partnership working through daily teleconference
   (NIAS)
                                                                   ANNEX 2 cont’d

RESPONSE

•	 Managed unprecedented discharges through the stations (ESB)

•	 Forward deployment to County Fermanagh of NIFRS specialist rescue team
   (NIFRS)

•	 In spite of the volume of flooding locations that able to manage to place road
   signs to the key floods to alert the public to the danger (Roads Service)

•	 Good local knowledge of area staff (Rivers Agency)

•	 Good local knowledge of managers (WHSCT)

•	 Local knowledge was imperative (Fermanagh District Council)

•	 Where a problem had been identified prompt action was taken to try to alleviate
   the problem. eg pumping at Derrychara Link, Bus depot (Fermanagh District
   Council)

•	 Staff were prepared to take whatever action was required to assist (NIHE)

•	 Made provision for temporary accommodation for 10 families (NIHE)

•	 Provided permanent accommodation for one family (NIHE)

•	 Contractor put on standby and available if required (NIHE)

•	 Positive action by school principals resulted in net loss of only one school day
   (WELB)

•	 Community action including parents in Teemore, Lisnaskea, Roslea and Boho
   (WELB)

•	 NIE had only one fault in Fermanagh which was most likely caused by the
   flooding. On 23 November 2009 a fault on an underground electricity cable in the
   Shore Rd area of Enniskillen caused 135 customers to lose supply at 13:25. The
   most likely cause was water damage. Repairs were completed & supplies
   restored to 135 customers by 16:00 and remaining three customers by 04:10 on
   24 Nov. (NIE)
                                                                ANNEX 2 cont’d

INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC AND THE PRESS

•	 Number of media requests received many with tight deadlines. RA responded
   with timely information, tailored to each request. (Rivers Agency)

•	 RA facilitated numerous requests for interviews – TV, radio, press, all while
   continuing to respond operationally to the actual event (Rivers Agency)

•	 DARD Minister also attended and gave interviews (Rivers Agency)

•	 Traffic watch website was regularly updated with roads deemed impassable
   (Roads Service)


Joint press releases were circulated by Rivers Agency, WHSCT and Fermanagh
District Council.
                                                                          ANNEX 3 

                                 CHALLENGES

PREPAREDNESS

•	 Need to review and be better prepared should one of NIHE housing estates be
   flooded, - lucky this time (NIHE)

•	 The usefulness of the multi-agency flood plan – Centered around opening rest
   centre and administration financial assistance scheme. A lot of wider issues than
   those stipulated within the plan (Western Group EPCO)
                                                                     ANNEX 3 cont’d


COMMUNICATION

•	 How to disseminate information internally, lots of info received daily (NIAS)

•	 Not good at alerting other agencies to resources available eg outdoor equipment,
   Canadian canoes, inflatable’s and trained staff (WELB)

•	 Improve communications, what NIHE can and can’t do. Not everyone knows role
   and how the NIHE can help and statutory duty to supply temporary housing
   (NIHE)

•	 Not prompt relaying of information from Hydrometrics (Rivers)

•	 The interaction between BT, the council and Rivers Agency was verbal. A regular
   short situation report from BT possibly would have been more useful or
   appropriate. (BT)
                                                                     ANNEX 3 cont’d

CO-ORDINATION

•	 Very dependant on local knowledge, over reliance on local contacts with control
   centre out in Knockbracken, Belfast (NIAS)

•	 Early stages of incident no clear lines of responsibility on who should take lead
   (PSNI)

•	 No clear contact person for initial alert – Who should it go to internal (WHSCT)

•	 Some confusion with clarity of roles (WHSCT)

•	 Conference pool should have met particularly on the 23/11/09. Although core
   groups met in council offices there should have been a regular round table
   meeting of conference pool (Western Group EPCO)

•	 Should have had a central location for a coordination centre. Maybe council /
   PSNI with maps / internet accessibility. Core groups could then meet at any stage
   (Western Group EPCO)

•	 Quicker contact with Local Government Division at DOE to ensure council are
   aware of cost recovery issues eg work men diverted to other duties, as overtime
   not included (Western Group EPCO)

•	 FIL should have been invited on conference call (Western Group EPCO)
                                                                      ANNEX 3 cont’d
RESPONSE

•	 Poor access to 4x4 vehicles. Shogun not effective in floodwaters (PSNI)

•	 Disproportionate reliance upon a small group of officers internally (WELB)

•	 Not many houses were flooded but several cut-off. No specific details of pupils
   affected, names, location etc (WELB)

•	 Could have had better initial response, mobilisation to address emergency
   situation never previously encountered at Killyhevlin WTW (NIW)

•	 Accessibility of vehicles – Unable to use vehicles / offers of help because of risks
   involved. (WHSCT)

•	 Over reliance on a small number of local staff (Rivers)

•	 Limitations on their own vehicles to work in floodwaters (Roads)

•	 Lack of training on staff for boat handling (Roads)

•	 Identification of vulnerable people not carried out until Wednesday 25th (Western
   Group EPCO)
                                                                   ANNEX 3 cont’d

INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC AND THE PRESS

•	 No press release response / strategy for all agencies (PSNI)

•	 Better promotion of 0300 2000 100 number (FIL)

•	 Dual numbers still in existence with FIL number and individual flooding
   responders (FIL)

•	 Review ability to respond during the early stages of the flooding period to
   questions from members of the public on flood related queries that didn’t fall
   within the remit of NIFRS (NIFRS)

•	 More proactive approach would have helped in regard to public relations / issuing
   of press statements including cross border eg Cavan was also in flood (ESB)

•	 Knee jerk reaction to queries. For regular queries one statement would have
   covered all (ESB)

•	 Consider a single website where statements from RA, ESB, Waterways Ireland
   etc could be uploaded (ESB)

•	 There was some incorrect local understanding in relation to the operation of
   Lough levels. This could have resulted in some incorrect reporting in the media
   from uninformed sources. (Rivers)

•	 Only 2 joint press releases issued between Rivers, Roads and WHSCT. Should
   have been a single multi agency press release made on behalf of the group.
   (Western Group EPCO)

•	 Council officers should have been out on the ground eg when the food delivery
   was made to ensure press where aware of the ongoing work of Fermanagh
   District Council in response to the situation. (Western Group EPCO)

•	 Collective need for multi-agency perspective to ensure public where aware of the
   extent of the prolonged nature of the floods to ensure public self help (Western
   Group EPCO)
                                                                             ANNEX 4 


                                IMPROVEMENTS

WESTERN GROUP EPCO

•	 Conference pool should have physically met on the 23 November 2009. Core
   groups met it may have been more productive to organise a regular meeting of
   larger conference pool

•	 Councils should have been more PR savvy, eg only 2 joint press releases issued.
   Should have a single multi agency press release / statement. Council PR offices
   should have been out on the ground, council should have attended delivery of
   food as they were involved in getting a lot of the background work done

•	 Consideration should be given to the central location for a coordination centre,
   with sufficient ITC capabilities, maps etc and location for core groups to meet.

•	 Expectations of roles and responsibility of council’s roles. Council participation in
   Rally Ireland, and various table tops previously gave them a perspective of what
   resources and actions may be required.

•	 Flooding Incident Line should have been on the conference call


ESB

•	 More proactive approach would have helped in regard to public relations / issuing
   of press statements including cross border

•	 Consider a single website were statements from RA, ESB, Waterways Ireland etc
   could be uploaded


NIFRS

•	 Consider indentifying lead before flooding started


ROADS

•	 Better PR. Traders at Quay Road complaining that raising of road was increasing
   risk of them flooding when not the case

FIL

•	 Identify of Government Lead for coordination of widespread flooding
                                                                      ANNEX 4 cont’d

•	 Better and more frequent communication. Develop policy and protocol on cross
   agency / organisation communication


RIVERS

•	 Regular exercises / networking for maintaining contacts established during the
   flooding


WHSCT

•	 Training / increased awareness on roles and responsibilities both internally and
   externally

•	 Further develop multiagency relationships that have now been established during
   flooding

•	 Contact numbers need to be more accessible. Both internal leads and multi
   agency contacts


FERMANAGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

•	 Improve PR / Communications

•	 Clarification of roles and responsibilities and expectation of other agencies


NIHE

•	 Improve PR / Communications

•	 Clarification of roles and responsibilities

•	 Action taken was reactive. What can some agencies do to be more proactive

•	 What practical work can be done to prevent or minimize the same happening
   again


NIW

•	 Coordinated approach on communication to general public, close down public
   speculation
                                                                    ANNEX 4 cont’d

WELB

•	 Formalisation of the inter agency group for the area along the lines of local
   resilience forum. This would ensure future emergencies could be responded to
   effectively


PSNI

•	 Communications, with interagency meetings starting earlier in anticipation of the
   problem


NIAS

•	 Early identification of lead agency

•	 Creation of a multi agency control room with maps, communications, IT resources
   and would allow face to face contact
                                                                             ANNEX 5 


                                   LESSONS LEARNT



NIAS

•   Early identification of Lead


PSNI

•   Someone identified to take lead and setup coordination centre


NIHE

•   More proactive role



RIVERS

•   Appreciation of DLO and local knowledge, benefits and cooperation


ROADS

•   Cost implications to raise roads


NIFRS

•   Role of subgroup


ESB

•   Be prepared


WESTERN GROUP EPCO

•   Multi agency PR / Media strategy required to get message to the public
                          ANNEX 6 





Tables and Hydrographs

                 Upper Lough           Portora           Lower Lough                                                 Total Discharge
                 Belleisle     u/s         d/s           Roscor        Gate state              Spilling              At Cliff m3/s
 1/10/2009            46.02          45.96       45.96       45.90     FO                      N
 2/10/2009            45.97          45.88       45.89       45.83     FO                      N
 3/10/2009            45.92          45.86       45.88       45.80     FO                      N
 4/10/2009            45.90          45.82       45.84       45.78     FO                      N
 5/10/2009            45.88          45.80       45.84       45.77     FO                      N
 6/10/2009            45.82          45.75       45.79       45.68     FO                      N
 7/10/2009            45.78          45.66       45.72       45.62     FO                      N
 8/10/2009            45.81          45.80       45.66       45.53     FC 10.00                N
 9/10/2009            45.86          45.87       45.60       45.53     FC                      N
10/10/2009            45.89          45.88       45.62       45.52     FC                      N
11/10/2009            45.92          45.90       45.64       45.49     FC                      N
12/10/2009            45.95          45.93       45.60       45.48     FC                      N
13/10/2009            45.96          45.95       45.57       45.45     FC                      N
14/10/2009            45.98          45.97       45.56       45.42     FC1&2,3&4 1'Open        N
15/10/2009            45.97          45.92       45.57       45.43     FC1&2,3&4 1'Open        N
16/10/2009            45.95          45.92       45.57       45.44     FC1&2,3&4 1'Open        N
17/10/2009            45.96          45.91       45.58       45.45     FC1&2,3&4 1'Open        N
18/10/2009            45.93          45.91       45.57       45.45     FC1&2,3&4 1'Open        N
19/10/2009            45.95          45.93       45.57       45.46     FC1&2,3&4 1'Open        N
20/10/2009            45.99          45.98       45.58       45.50     1,2,3,4 Open 2' 12.00   N
21/10/2009            46.02          45.91       45.61       45.52     1,2,3,4 Open 2'         N
22/10/2009            46.03          45.92       45.63       45.54     1,2,3,4 open 4' 12.30   N
23/10/2009            46.23          45.87       45.70       45.61     1,2,3,4 open 4'         N
24/10/2009            46.23          45.86       45.69       45.65     1,2,3,4 open 4'         N
25/10/2009            46.40          46.05       45.83       45.74     FO 10.00                N
26/10/2009            46.40          45.89       45.89       45.80     FO                      N
27/10/2009            46.37          45.90       45.90       45.87     FO                      N
28/10/2009            46.37          45.95       45.94       45.87     FO                      N
29/10/2009            46.35          45.92       45.92       45.86     FO                      N
30/10/2009            46.31          45.91       45.91       45.86     FO                      N
31/10/2009            46.47          45.96       45.95       45.87     FO                      N
 1/11/2009            46.50          46.02       46.00       45.88     FO                      N
 2/11/2009            46.76          46.11       46.07       46.01     FO                      N
 3/11/2009            46.82          46.15       46.10       46.03     FO                      N
 4/11/2009            46.95          46.27       46.19       46.14     FO                      N
 5/11/2009            47.11          46.46       46.35       46.26     FO                      Spilling                 227.37
 6/11/2009            47.19          46.39       46.29       46.26     FO                      Spilling                 296.63
 7/11/2009            47.21          46.42       46.30       46.30     FO                      Spilling                 293.04
 8/11/2009            47.21          46.42       46.31       46.28     FO                      Spilling                 317.50
 9/11/2009            47.19          46.35       46.25       46.24     FO                      Spilling                 310.46
10/11/2009            47.22          46.36       46.27       46.21     FO                      Spilling                 306.15
11/11/2009            47.19          46.32       46.23       46.17     FO                      Spilling                 291.58
12/11/2009            47.17          46.29       46.21       46.15     FO                      Spilling                 298.23
13/11/2009            47.25          46.30       46.21       46.15     FO                      Spilling                 295.80
14/11/2009            47.24          46.32       46.23       46.14     FO                      Spilling                 294.65
15/11/2009            47.29          46.29       46.20       46.13     FO                      Spilling                 293.86
16/11/2009            47.30          46.30       46.21       46.14     FO                      Spilling                 299.02
17/11/2009            47.42          46.40       46.29       46.24     FO                      Spilling                 310.36
18/11/2009            47.52          46.44       46.33       46.27     FO                      Spilling                 314.73
19/11/2009            47.69          46.50       46.36       46.31     FO                      Spilling                 313.33
20/11/2009            47.93          46.60       46.45       46.37     FO                      Spilling                 334.95
21/11/2009            48.03          46.61       46.45       46.44     FO                      Spilling                 336.65
22/11/2009            48.08          46.64       46.48       46.47     FO                      Spilling                 353.21
23/11/2009            48.15          46.76       46.58       46.55     FO                      Spilling                 355.17
24/11/2009            48.19          46.82       46.62       46.62     FO                      Spilling                 377.13
25/11/2009            48.25          46.90       46.69       46.68     FO                      Spilling                 377.50
26/11/2009            48.27          46.92       46.71       46.72     FO                      Spilling                 374.90
27/11/2009            48.24          46.93       46.72       46.73     FO                      Spilling                 386.60
28/11/2009            48.21          46.92       46.71       46.73     FO                      Spilling                 375.80
29/11/2009            48.14          46.92       46.71       46.71     FO                      Spilling                 372.80
30/11/2009            48.06          46.86       46.67       46.67     FO                      Spilling                 368.20
 1/12/2009            48.01          46.79       46.60       46.65     FO                      Spilling                 365.20
 2/12/2009            47.97          46.77       46.59       46.61     FO                      Spilling                 357.30
 3/12/2009            47.85          46.72       46.56       46.55     FO                      Spilling                 353.10
 4/12/2009            47.76          46.66       46.51       46.52     FO                      Spilling                 346.40
 5/12/2009            47.72          46.64       46.49       46.48     FO                      Spilling                 344.30
 6/12/2009            47.76          46.60       46.46       46.47     FO                      Spilling                 342.30
 7/12/2009            47.69          46.60       46.45       46.45     FO                      Spilling                 339.90
 8/12/2009            47.62          46.54       46.41       46.42     FO                      Spilling                 336.10
 9/12/2009            47.56          46.51       46.38       46.37     FO                      Spilling                 329.50
10/12/2009            47.47          46.47       46.35       46.33     FO                      Spilling                 327.30
11/12/2009            47.36          46.42       46.31       46.27     FO                      Spilling                 317.00
12/12/2009            47.24          46.34       46.25       46.20     FO                      Spilling                 308.70
13/12/2009            47.13          46.28       46.20       46.13     FO                      Spilling                 292.10
14/12/2009            47.02          46.22       46.15       46.05     FO                      Spilling                 283.10
15/12/2009            46.91          46.13       46.08       45.99     FO                      Spilling Stopped 9.00 @ 229.40
16/12/2009            46.80          46.09       46.05       45.97     FO
17/12/2009            46.69          46.06       46.03       45.94     FO                                LEGEND
18/12/2009            46.60          46.01       45.98       45.91     FO                      FO = FULLY OPEN
                                                                                               FC = FULLY CLOSED



             TABLE 1 - LOUGH LEVELS, GATE STATE AND DISCHARGE AT CLIFF

         1988      1989       1990      1991      1992      1993      1994      1995      1996      1997      1998
JAN      182.70     86.30     143.30    109.20     82.00    146.50    140.40    167.80     73.90     33.00    139.90
FEB      118.70    105.40     208.50     56.30     92.30     31.70    107.60    132.50    132.60    136.10     68.80
MAR      143.60    140.40      72.80    127.60    139.30     70.40    155.30    135.60     49.70     48.90     73.70
APR       36.20    100.90      71.50    122.00    108.70    126.10    103.20     33.10     55.90     50.50     91.50
MAY       66.30     32.00      47.60      8.70     43.80     79.20     39.60     69.80     58.00     76.90     46.10
JUN       33.60     33.50     133.80     99.40     30.90     79.10     67.40     26.40     59.80     97.30    125.30
JUL      172.00     28.70      50.80     65.60     89.70    125.70     77.20     89.10     86.90    100.20    114.60
AUG      126.00    100.80     115.10     35.90    195.90     75.70     72.10      7.20    128.80     73.80     92.30
SEP      125.00     59.20      53.90     51.60     80.70     79.20     71.30     80.10     48.90     49.50     85.30
OCT      122.20    145.60     204.50     93.50     90.10     17.00     53.20    193.30    158.80     90.00    174.30
NOV       49.10     55.90      67.00    141.90    158.20     46.80     90.90    137.40    123.00     98.90    147.30
DEC       92.30     74.40     134.00    164.10     89.80    222.00    152.80     52.50     63.20    138.20    103.30
TOTAL   1267.70    963.10    1302.80   1075.80   1201.40   1099.40   1131.00   1124.80   1039.50    993.30   1262.40




         1999      2000       2001      2002      2003      2004      2005      2006      2007      2008      2009 Average
JAN      154.10     74.50      90.40    138.70     91.60    101.40    149.20     59.00    159.80    175.80    130.00    119.52
FEB       86.80    136.70      55.80    235.80     75.80     47.00     44.60     33.60     77.20     56.60     34.30     94.30
MAR       62.00     69.80      64.90     89.90     67.80     74.60     77.60    110.20     75.00    142.00     79.80     94.13
APR       94.10    105.20      93.20    106.60     61.60     68.30     93.00     60.60     51.60     63.00    113.00     82.26
MAY       65.20     60.30      60.90    163.80    122.00     48.40     99.60    135.20     80.70     19.60    107.50     69.60
JUN       64.30     48.90      64.60    120.80     87.90    113.30     54.80     30.00     78.50     72.20     34.00     70.72
JUL       55.70     62.50      66.10     78.50    101.40     90.90     37.20     61.00    144.90     97.40    106.80     86.50
AUG      112.40    116.10     109.90     50.60     18.00     67.60     87.40     74.60     73.40    158.60    188.60     94.58
SEP      130.10    115.70      54.80     46.90     71.90     83.40     88.20    128.40     54.00    106.00     48.60     77.85
OCT       36.30    177.30      89.00    204.30     39.90    114.00    111.10    128.40     60.00    156.20    125.00    117.45
NOV      126.90    134.90      74.10    155.10    117.20     53.80     61.20     97.40     53.60     54.60    226.40    103.25
DEC      247.20    121.90      92.40     95.40     80.00    100.30     84.60    162.50    114.40     71.20     56.20    114.21
TOTAL   1235.10   1223.80     916.10   1486.40    935.10    963.00    988.50   1080.90   1023.10   1173.20   1250.20   1124.39




                            TABLE 2 - YEARLY RECORD OF RAINFALL SINCE 1988

                                                    Point D




                                          Point B




                                                              Point A




                                     Point C




HYDROGRAPH 1 - UPPER LOUGH LEVELS FROM JULY 09
                                                   Point E




                                    Point A




                                                                   Point C




                                                             Point B




                                         Point D




HYDROGRAPH 2 - LOWER LOUGH LEVELS FROM JULY 09
                ANNEX 7 





Photographs 

PHOTO 3 – Property cut-off in Upper Lough
PHOTO 4 – Road flooding near Lisnaskea
PHOTO 5 – Flooding at Share Centre, Lisnaskea
PHOTO 6 – Inter lough channel at Bellanaleck
                     el
               Chann
          gh
     r lou
Inte




     PHOTO 7 – Line of Inter lough Channel
PHOTO 8 – Flooded roadway, Derrychara Link
PHOTO 9 – Flooding at Enniskillen
PHOTO 10 – Belleek channel
PHOTO 11 – Power station and spillway at Cliff
PHOTO 12 – Sluice gate spillway at Ballyshannon
If you would like further copies or require copies in an
alternative format please contact:

Civil Contingencies Policy Branch
Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister
Block A5.02
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast BT4 3SR

Tel         028 9052 8642 / 3
Fax         028 9052 8630
E-mail      ccpb@ofmdfmni.gov.uk
Website     www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/emergencies

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:7
posted:10/7/2012
language:English
pages:139