By Elizabeth Doherty
A LONG-TERM flood forecast system is to be set up in the wake of Storm Frank.
Ministers okayed a plan to help property owners, farmers, businesses and groups affected by Frank and previous storm Desmond.
Up to 15 staff will be employed by Met Eireann and the Office of Public Works (OPW) in a Government move to prepare for storms.
Enda Kenny is to meet insurance industry bosses for talks on how homeowners and business representatives without insurance could feasibly be helped.
The proposals being established include a move:
- A new €60m roads scheme agreement.
- Provide an additional €10m for local authorities as part of a clean-up package.
- Lengthening the €5m business grant community and sports groups whose buildings and play areas have been damaged in floods.
- A hardship scheme to assist farmers who have been worst affected by flooding.
- Two pilot initiatives to install flood gates and other protection in Crossmolina, Co Mayo and Gregnamana, Co Kilkenny.
- Department of Social Protection funding for farm homes.
€8 million will be spent on the clean-up of flooding. €6m of this has already been drawn down by local authorities.
It has also been reported that a new coordination group for the Shannon will be established within weeks to assist in flood protection.
Residents in some of the worst hit areas of the midlands have fought to keep flood water away in recent days after another hike in water levels on the River Shannon.
More than 100 residents in an Athlone apartment complex were forced to leave their homes for a hotel, after their power supply was cut by the ESB for safety reasons.
Shannon water levels are higher than they have ever been on Lough Ree since records began in 1932 with members of the Defence Forces operating pumps in several areas.