Fears for future of flooded areas
Lord Mayor John Buttimer has suggested that frequently flooded areas like Blackpool may become "ghost towns" due to lack of insurance provision.
The Lord Mayor said areas like Blackpool, where many home and business owners cannot secure flood insurance, could become depopulated because business and homeowners cannot get insurance.
"We are trying to encourage people to stay in these areas. If you can get insurance a few miles up the road, then obviously you are going to do that.”
Meanwhile, South Central TDs Jerry Buttimer of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath raised the issue of emergency funding with Minister Phil Hogan during Topical Issues in the Dáil on Tuesday evening.
"The issue of the culvert is central to the flooding and there are a lot of questions which need to be answered,” said Deputy Buttimer, referring to the floods in Douglas.
“Last year, the County Council spent hundreds of thousands of euros on a culvert and grate for Ballybrack Stream; we need to know if both functioned as planned. Locally, there are fears that the proximity of the grate to the culvert and the infrequent clearing of the stream contributed to the flooding. These concerns need to be addressed.”
Minister Hogan insisted assistance was being provided by the Government in the guise of roadwork repairs form the Department of Transport, building repairs through the Office of Public Works and emergency grants through the Department of Social Protection.
Deputy Michael McGrath queried why Cork was being treated differently to Dublin, which experienced flooding last year.
“It is not sufficient to merely point to the services on offer from community welfare officers and the Department of Social Protection,” said Deputy McGrath.
“When a similar flooding incident occurred in Dublin last year, a special humanitarian assistance fund of €10 million was established. What is different about the people of Cork that they do not deserve similar treatment from the Government?”
Minister Hogan outlined the reports that are being awaited and refused to commit to funding until the reports are in.
The Irish Red Cross launched an appeal this week to help those affected by the floods.
“Donations received will be used to support those whose homes have been damaged by flood water,” said Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross, Donal Forde.
“We will work closely with the Community Welfare Service within the Department of Social Protection to identify those most in need of assistance.”
Anyone looking to donate can phone 1850-507070 or send a cheque made out to Irish Red Cross, 16 Merrion Square, Dublin.
The Department of Social Welfare has established a scheme for exceptional needs payments in light of the floods that affected the city and county last week. The Department is also making urgent needs payments to those who are not normally entitled to Supplementary Welfare Allowances.
The money is intended to offset immediate needs such as the purchase of food, clothing, fuel and household goods.
People in the South Lee catchments area can phone 021-4923116/021-4923111 for details. The North Lee can phone 021-4923856 while the Clonakilty area can phone 023-8833409.