DCSIMG

Tidal flooding estimated to cost Isle of Man government £300,000

The high tides, strong winds and rough seas batteedr Castletown's fragile sea walls and cause flooding in low lying harbourside areas.

Southern Coastguardsp ictured on duty near Castletown Harbour

The high tides, strong winds and rough seas batteedr Castletown's fragile sea walls and cause flooding in low lying harbourside areas. Southern Coastguardsp ictured on duty near Castletown Harbour

  • by Adrian Darbyshire
 

The cost to government of the recent floods has been estimated at £300,000.

Chief Minister Allan Bell said the £300,000 estimate referred only to direct costs to government and related mainly to extra staff costs incurred by the Department of Infrastructure, the MEA and the Water Authority.

Mr Bell said: ‘Obviously further costs would have been incurred by local authorities, private householders and businesses but at this stage I’ve no idea what those costs might be although most will be covered by private insurance.’

He added: ‘Government does not have an emergency reserve for this sort of storm damage so the extra costs will have to come out of existing budgets.’

Environment Minister Phil Gawne said there was a ‘very realistic chance’ the recent floods were related to climate change.

He said with the sea level expected to rise between 4ins and 2ft 6ins (11 to 78cm) by the year 2100, coastal flooding will become more frequent in the future.

The latest damage and disruption will remind many of the storm surge in 2002 which caused flooding in coastal towns and is estimated to have cost the private sector more than £8 million. Nearly two thirds of losses were uninsured.

Mr Gawne said conditions which led to the most recent flooding have been described as a one in 50 year event but sea level rise over the coming decades will mean that, even with no storm surge, we can expect low lying areas such as the Tongue in Douglas harbour to flood more frequently.

He said: ‘It’s important that both current and future generations are able to adapt critical infrastructure to additional unprecedented sea level rise at minimal cost. We will bring forward proposals for a new Bill which will require government departments to assess current and future risks posed by our climate and implement plans and policies to cope with these risks.’

Mr Gawne said there was a strong case for Castletown to get a flood barrier system - one ‘relatively cheap to achieve’ although no funds would be available in the short or medium term.

 

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