THE National Coordination Group met today to review the response to date, to assess the impact of the storms on infrastructure and communities and to ensure that the response of relevant goverment agencies and local authorities continues to be coordinated.
Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW, Brian Hayes was among the attendance.
Met Éireann reported that Ireland has been subject to a sequence of Atlantic storms since December 18, resulting in extreme wind conditions, episodes of heavy rainfall and lately storm surges associated with high tides and low pressure atmospheric conditions.
It was noted that the new Met Éireann colour-coded weather warnings (red, orange and yellow) issued in accordance with the international meteo-alarm system was of assistance to the public, as well as to Government departments, local authorities, utilities and transport sector in understanding the threats posed by the weather situations. Safety messages had been responded to well by the public but, regrettably, one fatality was attributed to a severe storm.
The agencies in the front-line reported on their responses to the storms. Now that the response phase is ended, the relevant local authorities are in the process of compiling reports on the recent events. On foot of the inputs from all sectors, a preliminary report will be prepared and brought to Government next week.
The funding of repairs to transport and coastal facilities which were damaged will be considered by the relevant Departments in light of priorities arising from the reports from the local authorities.
The Department of Social Protection has advised that they have assisted a small number of households that were affected by storms/ flooding. Assistance is available under the exceptional needs and urgent needs payments and the humanitarian assistance scheme and any person experiencing hardship is advised to contact their local DSP office, which administers this scheme in the first instance.