Traders in Midleton have called on Cork County Council to consider introducing an advance warning system for possible flooding to prevent a repeat of the damage caused by Storm Babet last month.
Auctioneer Adriana Hegarty was among the dealers who attended a meeting earlier this week to discuss the recent flooding, which caused millions of dollars in damage to commercial and residential properties.
She said one suggestion is the possibility of introducing a warning system, such as a siren, that would alert people to possible flooding and give them some time to move cars or save stock in their stores.
Located at the confluence of the Owenacurra and Dungourney rivers, Midleton has been subject to severe flooding over the last 20 years.
The Owenacurra, which burst its banks after Storm Babet and flowed down Mill Road and on to Main Street in Midleton, is a shorter watercourse with a smaller catchment area than the Blackwater or the Lee, meaning it does not have the same time lag When the water level is there, start building.
“I know that on the Blackwater it is possible to predict a rise in water levels in Mallow and Fermoy because it is a longer river because the rain falls to the west for a longer period of time, and that applies to Lee and Cork City too, but we need it an improved warning system here in Midleton,” Ms Hegarty said.
“The water level rose very quickly and Mill Road quickly turned into a river which fell very quickly and caused a lot of damage, but we were lucky that it happened during the day because we were traveling everywhere, but when it happened at night, no one would have been there to save inventory or equipment.”
Midleton newsagent Fergus McCarthy said: “We know we cannot use the early warning system they have in Mallow or Fermoy and we know there has been an unusual amount of rain in an area around Midleton over the last day and that The probability of this happening is high.” The likelihood of the same thing happening again is probably very low.
“But even if we could get a notification, be it a siren or a gardaí or the fire department driving through the city in a tannoy, even half an hour or fifteen minutes in advance, you could move your car out of the way or what Whatever you do. “You can do that in half an hour, that would be a big help.”
The Irish Red Cross has confirmed that it has received a total of 58 applications under the Government’s Emergency Business Flood Relief Scheme for a one-off voluntary contribution towards the cost of restoring business premises to pre-flood condition.
There are two options: Scheme A includes a one-off contribution towards the damage up to a maximum of €5,000 and a second part if the damage exceeds €5,000. Applicants can request an initial contribution of €5,000 and then further payments to a maximum of €15,000.
The second option, Scheme B, allows applicants to apply for a one-off one-off contribution up to a maximum of €10,000. If the damage exceeds €10,000, you can request a one-off initial contribution of €10,000 plus further payments up to a maximum of €100,000.
An Irish Red Cross spokesperson said that at the close of business on Friday, 24 applications had been received under A1/A2 and 30 applications under B1/B2, while two further applications were awaiting confirmation of program choice and a further two were deemed ineligible or withdrawn.
“Ten applicants have received their first initial payments. “Their files have been forwarded to an assessor who has arranged an appointment with all companies to carry out an assessment before a second payment is made,” the spokesman said, adding that the sum paid out so far is 100,000 euros.
He said one claimant had received a payment of €5,000, representing their total entitlement, while seven claimants had been verified by the local authority and the Irish Red Cross was waiting for their bank details so the charity could make an initial payment.
A further 11 applicants are on hold as the Irish Red Cross awaits clarification of the details of their application from the Department of Enterprise, while a further 27 applications are incomplete and have been returned to applicants for further clarification.