Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has criticised the decision not to give a status red weather warning to Co. Waterford ahead of Storm Ellen’s arrival last week.
“Met Éireann have a difficult and thankless job when it comes to predicting the weather or issuing warnings, however I believe they dropped the ball last week.
“A Red warning was in place for Cork for several hours before the storm made landfall, however the warning for Waterford was not upgraded. Projections leading up to the storm showed it making landfall in the East Cork and West Waterford coasts.
“I asked Met Éireann to revise their weather warning for Waterford in the hours before it arrived.
“A status red warning gives workers protection to stay at home for their own safety, while an orange warning does not.
“I was inundated with calls from workers who were due on shift just as the storm was expected to be at its strongest. They had an unenviable dilemma, go to work and take a risk on the road, or stay home and lose a day’s pay and risk a disciplinary.
“The discrepancy led to a situation where workers from Youghal were protected while their colleagues in Ardmore, Clashmore or Cappoquin were expected to travel the same roads, in the same storm, to the same workplace, for the same shift.
“This cannot be allowed to happen again. I understand that weather predictions are uncertain by definition but I would hope Met Éireann learn from this event and endeavour to offer the same protection to all workers affected, regardless of county bounds.”