PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins will visit some of the areas worst affected by last week’s flooding when he travels to the city later today.
President Higgins is expected to meet with local residents and volunteers when he visits the King’s Island area, which was left devastated ten days ago following the worst flooding in living memory.
The recent flooding in Limerick and elsewhere across the country will be discussed by Government tomorrow with initial estimates suggesting the cost of the clean-up will be in excess of €100m.
Meanwhile the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, who was briefed by department employees in Limerick at the weekend, insists that those affected by last week’s floods are being treated as a priority.
The minister says a substantial number of people have already received monies through the Humanitarian Assistance scheme.
“There are a number of separate phases to this. The first is urgent payment for people who have lost things like clothing, bedding personal belongings or they need some money to tie them over because things like food have been destroyed. So we have being doing that in a significant number of cases. The second, longer stage, is trying to assess what level of damage has been done to their home and their possessions,” she said.
The department has allocated additional resources in the Kings Island area in the wake of the floods, which saw more than 60 people evacuated from the homes, with some placed in emergency accommodation.
To date, more than 250 people have made contact with staff at Department’s offices in Ballynanty while more than 70 house-calls have been made to the homes of elderly people, who were affected.
Speaking at King’s Island community centre, after visiting some of the worst affected areas, Minister Burton said the flooding in Limerick has been devastating.
“There are regular experiences of flooding, unfortunately at the moment, all over Ireland but this one has to be one of the largest in scale in terms of the number of houses affected,” she said.