Funds to help alleviate flood costs

 Early morning 'shark' Sean McKeown tests the waters during severe flooding on Oliver Plunkett St, Cork City. Picture: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Two Government funds will help alleviate the costs of damage from flooding in communities and homes, ministers have agreed.

A massive clean-up was under way after flooding along the south and south-east yesterday but communities were preparing for more storms and high tides.

Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes told the Irish Examiner that a report will be submitted to Cabinet next week which will include assessments by local authorities.

This will be in addition to €65m in costs already submitted by Clare, Galway, and Kerry for earlier storms in January and the damage done to public amenities.

A separate humanitarian assistance €10m fund operated by Social Protection can also be accessed by homeowners hit by flooding.

That department last night confirmed that 3,500 payments were given out since 2010, amounting to €2.2m. Assessments for the scheme will also be made of homes affected by this week’s flooding and who are not insured.

An emergency team for the fund had already began work in Limerick, Mr Hayes confirmed.

However, more flooding is on the way. Cork City has warned that a high tide this evening could cause even greater damage than flooding experienced yesterday.

Mr Hayes also said long-term funding would be made available from the Office of Public Works, in his department, and from the Department of Transport.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin, who will decide on extending scheme funding for areas hit, last night signalled that more money would be released.

“Minister Howlin has seen first-hand the damage caused and will, in conjunction with his Cabinet colleagues, ensure that the needs of people affected will be addressed as a matter of urgency,” his official said.

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