The provision of €10 million extra for the flooding clean-up fund, as well as a new Shannon authority and other measures will come as a relief to those affected by flooding.
The last number of weeks have been extremely difficult for communities as the wettest December on record has resulted in severe flooding in many areas.
The Government has put in place a number of measures to assist those who have been affected. These measures include increasing clean-up funding for local authorities from €8 million to €18 million.
The Red Cross Scheme established to assist small businesses that are not insured against flooding will be extended to include sports and community facilities. Up to €20,000 is available to eligible premises. The first stage provides a contribution of up to €5,000 and, depending on the scale of damage, further support of up to €15,000 is available. The application form can be downloaded at https://firstname.lastname@example.org and people can also the Red Cross headline at 01-6424600.
A new Shannon Flood Management and Co-Ordination Group will be set up to oversee the implementation of flood management plans. The OPW is to draft terms of reference for this new group within two weeks.
The Government will also launch a pilot scheme of individual home protection measures in Crossmolina in Co. Mayo, and in Graiguenamanagh and Thomastown in Co. Kilkenny. This pilot scheme will mean that councils in these areas can seek funding from the OPW for individual home protection measures.
A range of measures have also been put in place by the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, to assist farmers impacted by flooding. A new €2 million Fodder Replacement Scheme will be launched and plans are in place to develop supports for farmers in particular hardship. Farmers with significant fodder losses or animal welfare concerns can call the Department’s helpline on 076-1064408 or 01-6072379.
Farm family homes will also be eligible under the Humanitarian Aid scheme. Information and applications forms in relation to the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme are available Department of Social Protection offices and from the Department’s website: https://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Humanitarian-Assistance-Scheme.aspx.
A National Flood Forecasting Unit will provide constant, up to date, detailed and localised information on flood forecasting. The Taoiseach and relevant Government Ministers will meet with insurers to discuss flooding insurance next week and the extensive damage to our road network will be addressed as the flooding recedes.
The Minister for the Environment is to seek to meet the EU Environment Commissioner to explore how emergency works which need to be carried out on rivers can be undertaken.
The Government’s capital plan has set aside €430 million to deliver flood protection schemes, meaning more will be spent on flood protection schemes in the next five years than in the last 20 years.
The Government is taking immediate action to address the short term problems being experienced in many parts of the country. We are also implementing measures to prepare and plan for the future.