Government make €7m available to local authorities for Ex-Hurricane Ophelia clean-up
The Government will make approximately €9m available to local authorities nationwide in order to deal with the clean-up in the aftermath of Ex-Hurricane Ophelia and other major weather events during 2017.
The unprecedented red level storm, which arrived in Ireland on 16 October resulted in major damages across the country, including three deaths. Ex-Hurricane Ophelia also led to the loss of power in 385,000 households and businesses, while 109,000 people were left without water.
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government said that these funds were to be made available as an acknowledgement of the "exceptional nature of the preparation and response activities carried out by the local authorities" given that the cost of such activities could not be met from existing resources.
The national response to the storm saw almost all roads being reopened within 24 hours with water supplies being restored within four days and electricity customers being reconnected within eight.
"The speed of this work was enabled through the coordination work of the local authorities who led the response at local level in cooperation with the other Principal Response Agencies (PRAs), An Garda Síochána and the Health Service Executive (HSE), and through close collaboration between essential services and critical infrastructure providers. It was noted also that the systems in place to prioritise and maintain contact with vulnerable customers worked well and should be carried forward."
In total, €7,027,506.48 is to be made available to a range of local authorities for their response to the storm, with over €1.98m being made available to Cork City Council, €1.4m to Cork County Council and over €330,000 for Galway city and county.
The Department will also make available a further €1.7m to Donegal County Council in relation to their own response to the Inishowen floods on 22 August, and €208,727 to Laois County Council after the Mountmellick floods on 22 November.