Cork County Council has already spent just shy of €5.1m on road clean-up and repair since December 19 with a lot more expenditure on crumbling roads expected in the coming weeks.
The initial preliminary estimated cost is contained in an assessment of the damage to roads around the country and is being forwarded to the national directorate for fire and emergency management within the Department of the Environment.
A spokesman for Cork County Council said the €5.096m had been spent since December 19 last on the initial response to consistent bad weather and severe flooding, including clean-up and repairs.
The bill is likely to grow once final assessments are conducted. It is likely to be one of the largest in the country, given county Cork’s extensive road network and the damage wrought by Storm Frank.
Meanwhile, Mayor of County Cork, John Paul O’Shea, has defending the county council’s handling of the flooding crisis amid criticism of inadequate flood alerts and a shortage of sand bags.
The Independent councillor denied suggestions of poor communication and failure to answer emergency numbers, maintaining that the response was comprehensive.
“Our out-of-hours emergency service is available 24/7,” he said. “The sheer volume of calls shows the crisis we are under here in Cork. Of course there are going to be issues and of course we can improve our communications structure but we have been very active on Facebook and Twitter. I haven’t heard that there was no sandbags or no bags of sand. We had a huge amount of staff in over the Christmas period,” h e said.
Mr O’Shea said a number of staff had come in voluntarily over the holiday period to assist householders and said he was conscious of the poor condition of some county roads in the aftermath of the flooding. He said government funds would have to be allocated to fix them.
“I would encourage people to have extreme caution on the roads because there are some roads that have large potholes. The roads are in an appalling condition in the county after this bad weather event. The council is putting a report in to the Government today as to what damage they can see at the moment,” he said.
In an interview on Cork’s 96FM, Patrick O’Leary of Cork Flood Alert said the number of times the authorities put out information on flooding could be counted on one hand, while Ciara Leonardi Roche of the Anti-Austerity Alliance said she believed flooding and its aftermath would be an election issue in East Cork.
The boil water notice imposed on the Whitegate regional water supply scheme is to continue.
The notice was introduced on the advice of the HSE due to high turbidity (cloudiness) in the Dower spring source, serving a population of about 10,000.
People are advised to boil all water for drinking, food preparation, brushing of teeth, and making of ice until further notice.
A number of roads around Cork city and county were still affected by flooding yesterday. The N25 Cork/ Waterford Rd will remain closed until further notice between Killeagh and Castlemartyr due to flooding.
Efforts are being made to pump the water out.
Other roads affected include the N73 Mallow/ Mitchelstown road at Skenakilla Cross, the Midleton/ Dungourney road (R627), the Park Rd (N72) in Mallow, and other roads near Fermoy, Carrigaline, and the Lee Rd in Cork.
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