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Flood response cost €659,000

THE cost of responding to the recent flooding in the county cost €659,000, county manager, Tom Coughlan revealed at a Clare County Council meeting on Monday.
Mr Coughlan confirmed that the council has already made an initial submission to the Department of the Environment in relation to operational and response-led costs and hopes to obtain payment before the end of the year.
The €659,000 bill includes covering the cost of additional plant and machinery, damage to local authority houses and payments to emergency services and other agencies for the emergency response on the ground.
However, it doesn’t include the cost of infrastructural damage to roads and other public facilities, which will have to be included in a separate application for funding to the department.
The council’s road engineers are already compiling reports on the damage caused to roads throughout the county, particularly in Ennis, South-East Clare and North Clare.
Mr Coughlan stated that the council did its best to respond to all calls for assistance during the flooding crisis as quickly as possible.
Considering the extent of the unprecedented flooding in South-East Clare and Ennis, Mr Coughlan explained that the council had to prioritise calls for help and attend the most severely affected cases.
A number of councillors at the meeting claimed that building on flood plains in Ennis and its environs had resulted in flooding on the outskirts of the town.
However, Mr Coughlan pointed out that the recommendations put forward by consultants who prepared the Ennis Main Drainage and Flooding Study in 2001 were incorporated into the last Ennis and Environs Development Plan, which oversaw planning applications in recent years.
He noted that any planning application, which didn’t comply with this Development Plan had to go through a different process where the planners had to seek a variation from the plan by seeking permission from county councillors at a statutory meeting.

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