Category: Archive

Aid package announced for flood victims

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — As mopping up continues in areas hit by the recent record rainfall and subsequent flash floods, the Irish government will announce an aid package this week for those worst affected by the deluge that engulfed homes and businesses.

Meanwhile, insurance companies are counting the cost as claims come in and experts are assessing the damage to roads, bridges and river flood prevention measures.

Some estimates have put the cost of the damage as high as £100 million.

The bad weather led to two deaths, a 68-year-old woman who was hit by a farmyard gate in high winds near Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, and a 66-year-old man who drowned when he was swept into a river near Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

In many of the worst hit new housing estates in Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Louth, residents are blaming inadequate allowance by planners for building on traditional flood plains, covering them with homes, concrete and tarmac.

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The economic boom has led to a huge amount of building around Dublin and many of the housing estates are being marketed with a small river or stream as a selling point.

The scenic attraction of a water feature has now left residents facing a possible insurance exclusion for flood damage in the future.

Minister of State at Environment Bobby Molloy gave no details of the size of this week’s financial aid package in the Dail, but he said it would be generous.

He promised the plan would be as simple as possible so there would be no undue delays in making payments to people.

With 18 inches of rain having fallen in under 18 hours in some Midland areas, there has been the worst flooding since Hurricane Charlie in 1986 and in some towns it was being compared to the storms of 1946-47.

The towns that suffered the worst devastation were those on major rivers in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford; Mallow and Fermoy, Co. Cork; Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, and in Waterford, Kilkenny and Carlow.

The water rose so fast in homes that many people awoke to find several feet of water in their homes and did not get a chance to move their possessions upstairs.

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