THE Irish Red Cross has raised over €300,000 for its flood relief operations.
The aid agency’s aim is to raise €1 million.
The news came as 20 families in south-east Clare, evacuated during recent flooding along the Lower River Shannon, were last night preparing to return to their homes.
Yesterday, officials from Clare County Council and the Health Service Executive (HSE) met with the families who are residents of the
The 20 houses in question were not affected by flooding, while the construction of a 310-metre long earthen embankment along the river bank has greatly reduced any risk of flooding.
However, 18 families, many from the Oakwood Drive local authority estate in Ennis, that were forced to flee their homes by boat, remained in emergency accommodation at the West County Hotel in Ennis last night.
Town manager Ger Dollard said: “Efforts continue, in conjunction with local estate agents, to secure additional private rented accommodation.”
Mr Dollard confirmed an additional 15 private households from flood-affected areas of Ennis had also requested emergency accommodation during the last two weeks.
“Five of these households remain in emergency accommodation, while the remainder have either returned home or have secured private rented accommodation.”
Elsewhere around Clare, eight families evacuated in Clonlara and four families from the North Clare areas of Tubber and Carron have yet to return to home.
Meanwhile, after a week in a Limerick hotel, Brian and Anne Holman and their children, Peter, 13 and Mia, 4, were back home last night after their house at Hampstead Park in Corbally was saved by a huge barrier built by emergency services and volunteers.
The Holmans were among 12 families who had to be evacuated a week ago as rising flood waters began to lap at their house fronts.
Brian, who lost his job in Dell, said: “Things were difficult enough without this flood happening and it is a great relief that the house has not been damaged.”
Water levels in Castleconnell and Montpelier, which were badly hit, had by yesterday dropped 10 inches.
The ESB yesterday reduced the volume of water released from Parteen Weir by 7%, while levels in Lough Derg fell 2.5 inches.
Mr Brennan said there are 22 flooded houses in the Castleconnell and Montpelier areas and moving back will be a big task for the families as major measures must be taken to make the houses habitable.
Water levels in the Waterways Estate in Sallins, Co Kildare, fell by about a foot, following a pumping-out operation. The estate is still submerged in about three feet of water.
The main N18 Galway to Limerick road, which was closed for almost two weeks near Gort, re-opened yesterday as waters receded.
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