A new year, but sadly, the same old story for homes and businesses threatened by flooding in parts of Cork.
Frank O’Leary, of O’Leary and Daughters clothing store in Bandon, was just one of many businesspeople in the town putting out sandbags and looking for dehumidifiers.
A soaked December gave way to a wet New Year’s Day, as Met Éireann warned that up to 35mm of rain was due in Cork, as well as in eight other counties.
Mr O’Leary’s shop was hit again on Tuesday night in Storm Frank, but he said he was lucky in one sense: His old floor had been pulled up following the devastating flooding of December 5. Had he replaced it in the interim, “Absolutely, we would have lost the floor again; we would have lost that.”
However, Tuesday’s floods were higher than those earlier last month, meaning a race to dry out side panels that line the walls, and to limit the damage.
“We have restocked and I am going into the shop now to get the few dehumidifiers we have,” he said. “The side panels were caught this time; that’s why I want to get as many dehumidifiers in as I can to get the dampness out of there as soon as possible.”
Mr O’Leary also received a belated Christmas present of sorts when the flood relief funds allocated by the Government following the December 5 flood arrived.
However, while additional funds of up to €15,000 are available, albeit with a higher qualification criteria, Gillian Powell, who runs a Montessori in Bandon, and who is a main figure in the Bandon Flood Group, queried whether those affected by the most recent flooding would be able to access additional sums of up to €5,000.
“The question we would be asking is, can we apply again for alleviation of ongoing flood costs and grants to help us protect our homes?” she said, referring to pumps and flood barriers. She also demanded immediate dredging of the River Bandon and clearing of debris which has built up in some areas.
Barry O’Donovan, who is on the national board of the Irish Red Cross, said more clarity was needed regarding whether or not people could reapply for sums of a further €5,000 following Storm Frank, if they had already successfully applied following the December 5 floods.
Nationally, some 130 applications have been received, and payments issued in 70% of cases, and in Bandon, 31 applications were made with 26 paid, and others pending.
Elsewhere across Cork, the N25 Cork/Waterford road was closed between Killeagh and Castlemartyr due to flooding, as was the Fermoy/Ballyduff R666 at Ballyderown, due to a minor landslide.
The Midleton/Dungourney road (R627) was impassable, and in Cork City, the N22 Carrigrohane Road and the Lee Road were affected. The Cork/Passage West road (R610) was impassable, as were a number of roads in Midleton.
In Glanmire, the Glashaboy River burst its banks yesterday at around 6pm, prompting residents of nearby housing estate Copper Valley Vue to put out an appeal on social media for sandbags. Some 3,000 residents in the area were also without power from 4.30pm-5.30pm, while hundreds of others across Co Cork were also without power for a short time.
Midleton was among the areas worst affected, with some families having to seek refuge in hotels and alternative accommodation as much of the area was transformed into a lagoon.
Local councillor Pat Buckley said people whose homes in the Lauriston estate had been flooded had finally been able to gain access to their properties yesterday.
About a dozen of the houses were badly affected, with water “up to the windowsills”.
Meanwhile, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross, Paul Colton, has said there will be a retiring collection at all church services in the diocese tomorrow and on January 10 “as a first emergency response to the unfolding situation”.
Boil water notice imposed on East Cork residents
See www.water.ie or call 1890 278 278.
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