Schemes to protect Castletown from future flooding were discussed at a public meeting attended by more than 100 people last Thursday, August 7, in St Mary’s on the Harbour.
Last January, the town was one of the worst affected areas of the island with high tides causing flooding of many harbourside houses by several feet of water on numerous occasions – and there are record high tides predicted for 2015.
Presentations were made by Jeffrey Robinson, director of operations at the Department of Infrastructure, and environmental engineering risk company JBA Consulting.
Town MHK Richard Ronan said: ‘It was very useful meeting, we are at the stage where we have done a lot of work, now we are sharing information with residents and asking them for their input. Some of it [residents’ input] was really useful. Now we are moving on to the next stage of doing surveys of Castletown, hopefully we will get some schemes together to see improvement down there.
‘We have to learn lessons from the past, which we did not do from when the 2002 floods happened and caused issues, then nothing was implemented as regards to the infrastructure.’
He added the cost of flood alleviation measures has to be balanced against the cost of insurance claims.
Specific measures include introducing a barrier at the entrance to the harbour by the swing bridge, introducing barriers to raise the height of walls and mobilising moveable barrier systems more quickly.
There was also discussions about the river and measures to alleviate its influence on flooding in the harbour.
Mr Ronan said: ‘It’s also about educating home owners about what they can do themselves such as installing new doors and stop valves on drains.’
He said this has to be a combined effort, adding: ‘I want everybody on board so they understand what we are doing and what they can do as well.
‘The meeting was incredibly useful because we are going to help them [the department and consultants] with our local knowledge.’