Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has called for emergency Government funding to be provided to assist local authorities with the damage caused by the torrential rain and flooding associated with Storm Babet. A status orange warning was issued for a number of counties yesterday with heavy rainfall causing flooding in many parts of Munster.
Speaking on the Seanad floor yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 18th October) Senator Cummins raised the urgency of central government being provided to address the damage and destruction which the storm has caused “the evidence on the ground across my own constituency of Waterford is that there is serious damage after being done, part of the sea wall between Kinsalebeg and Youghal bridge has collapsed and there is serious flooding across many parts of West Waterford”.
He added: “There will be a need for significant central government funding to assist local authorities in Waterford, Cork and Kerry with the clean-up operation and repairs that will inevitably follow from the serious damage that has been done.”
Speaking today, Senator Cummins said “Along with Cork colleagues, I raised the seriousness of the issue to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Ministers Humphreys, O'Donovan and O'Donnell at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting last night. I stressed the urgent need for funding to be provided to repair infrastructure across west Waterford and to support affected homeowners.
“I am glad that Minister Humphreys has confirmed that the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme has now been opened for affected homes and businesses in Waterford and Cork. It is an income-tested scheme that provides emergency financial assistance to households affected by a severe weather event such as flooding and is administered via the Community Welfare Service at the Dept Social Protection”.
“In addition to speaking with the Taoiseach and the appropriate Ministers I have also spoken with Waterford City and County Councils senior roads engineer and he has confirmed that staff are working exceptionally hard to clear roads and to quantify the cost of the damage which has been caused. Clearly this will take a number of weeks but I have been assured that emergency infrastructure funding will be forthcoming from central government to assist councils in Waterford and Cork with the cost of repairing the serious damage.
Senator Cummins concluded by saying “I want to thank Waterford City and County Council staff across all sections, along with our emergency service personnel for the work they have done to assist all those who have been discommoded and impacted by Storm Babet. There is no doubt in my mind that were it not for the actions of council staff, fire service crews and local communities themselves who came together to help one another, we would have seen even more damage to properties across west Waterford”.