Cabinet agrees flood measures including extra €10m for councils

Met Eireann issues weather warning with up to 25mm of rainfall forecast

Conor Pope visits the Strand area beside the river Shannon in Athlone where local residents are just about keeping flood waters at bay using pumps and sandbags. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

The Government has agreed a range of new measures in response to the floods. 

Local authorities will receive €10 million in addition to the €8 million agreed for the clean-up.

The Cabinet heard the estimated cost of the damage to roads and bridges is €60 million.

The Irish Red Cross will be asked to extend its compensation scheme to cover sports and community facilities damaged by the series of storms.

The Taoiseach also agreed to convene a meeting of all insurance companies next week to discuss flood insurance.

Enda Kenny has invited all the relevant bodies to discuss how to help homes affected by floods but cannot access insurance.

There was also agreement to establish a new Shannon co-ordination group and the terms of reference will be agreed within two weeks.

The establishment of a long-term flood forecasting system which will involve 15 extra staff between Met Éireann and the Office of Public Works (OPW) was also agreed.

The Government is also seeking a meeting with the EU Commissioner to see if emergency work on rivers will comply with river directives.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has also received Cabinet approval for a fodder replacement scheme.

This will mean farmers will be paid at the market rate for fodder destroyed by flooding.

A hardship recognition case fund for farmers in very difficult situations will also be introduced but details of this have yet to be decided.

Meanwhile Met Eireann has issued a new yellow level rainfall warning for Wednesday. Rainfall totals of 15mm to 25mm are forecast across the country 

Cabinet  decisions on flooding include :

·         A hardship recognition scheme for farmers

·         A fodder replacement scheme

·         A clean-up fund has been increased by a further €10m, in addition to the €8m already committed

·         Establishment of a River Shannon Co-ordination Group

·         Red Cross compensation scheme to be extended to include sporting facilities

·         OPW to oversee two individual pilot " home protection schemes "

·         Department of Transport to bring road infrastructure damage report to Government, with funding to be supplied in due course

·         Farm family homes to be eligible under the Humanitarian Aid scheme

·         Department of the Environment and OPW to meet with EU Environment Commissioner

·         Taoiseach and relevant Ministers to meet with Insurance Industry representatives next week

·         New Flood Forecasting Unit to be established