Mr Cretney visited Cronk-y-Voddy yesterday with senior DOI officers and a journalist from BBC News.
The Minister said:
‘Several times over the weekend I’d publicly thanked the fantastic work done by the Department’s staff, the Emergency Services, the MEA, other agencies, private contractors and members of the public who had volunteered to help out since Friday’s snowfall – it’s been a real team effort by everyone involved.
‘But to see the conditions they have been working in first-hand was humbling. My favourite section on the TT course is Ballacraine to Ramsey and at Handley’s Corner we were met by a wall of snow and ice probably 12 foot high, and which went back along the course for about a mile.
‘It was rather surreal, as we drove across the western coast in the lovely spring sunshine, surrounded by a lunar-type of landscape. We visited a small holding where feed was being provided for surviving livestock and then walked further to look down on the ice-tipped buildings and miles of fields covered in snow stretching towards Peel.
Along the way, overhead wires and poles were strewn around like matchsticks. In just 10 or 15 minutes, the biting cold was painful. Yet for those who have worked over the last few days in the public service, and who often go unrecognised for the work they do, this was the third day of 12-hour shifts, and still they greeted me with friendly smiles.
‘On behalf of the people and the Government of the Isle of Man, my heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone involved for the work they’d done, and continue to do.’