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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 1 April, 2020

Government looking to develop app for serious weather alerts

Many said they were caught completely off guard by the weather in Donegal last month.

A man looks at a tractor which has fallen into a road collapsed in Iskaheen, County Donegal.
A man looks at a tractor which has fallen into a road collapsed in Iskaheen, County Donegal.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

THE GOVERNMENT IS exploring the possibility of developing a smartphone weather app that will alert the public to serious weather events.

Minister of State for the OPW and Flood Relief, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran said such a weather app would bring real-time alerts directly to people in areas where there are impending serious weather events like flooding.

Some Donegal residents are still devastated from the floods that hit the county last month, which resulted in locals being unable to return to their homes.

Many said they were caught completely off guard by the rain that occurred in late August which resulted in the flash flooding.

“This would allow people in affected areas time to properly prepare in advance by giving them more time to protect their properties, themselves and their families. This would also be of enormous benefit to the farming community,” said the minister, adding that such a system is already in use in countries such as the UK and the USA.

flooding 290_90521475 Minister with responsibility for Flooding Kevin Boxer Moran. Source: Sam Boal

Moran raised the concept with Met Éireann when he visited its headquarters in Glasnevin recently.

“My suggestion received a very good response and it is something that I intended to explore further with the relevant government departments,” he said.

When a weather crisis is pending, every second counts, added the Independent Alliance minister.

“Technology has become a great aid in the assisting of people in times of need. The gardaí have been using the community text-alert system quite successfully now in recent years, targeting particular areas with specific information when needed.

“I think that there is no reason now why we cannot do this for our weather through a dedicated mobile phone app,” concluded Moran.

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