Laois County Council is continuing with its flood management, clean up and impact reduction operations in Mountmellick and surrounding areas.

Support for Affected Homeowners

The Council’s Housing Service and the Department of Social Protection is continuing to provide support and assistance to those affected by the floods. Anyone who has been affected and who requires support and assistance including emergency housing, dealing with the aftermath at their properties or any other humanitarian need can call to the Humanitarian Aid Centre at Wolfe Tone Court, Mountmellick. This service will continue to be provided at the Centre until 6.00 pm this evening and will be available again from 9.00 am in the morning.

Laois County Council will be providing a number of skips to assist affected households in the clean-up operations. Anyone who requires help with their clean-up efforts or who needs to access skips and/or dehumidifiers is being asked to contact the Council at (057) 86 64000.

Humanitarian Support Scheme for Business

Defence Minister, Paul Kehoe, has announced the provision of a humanitarian support scheme to provide emergency assistance for small businesses (up to 20 employees), sports clubs and community organisations unable to secure flood insurance, which have been affected by flooding over the last twenty four hours.

Similar to previous flooding incidents, the scheme will be administered by the Irish Red Cross with the details being made available on their website shortly.

The scheme is a humanitarian support contribution towards the costs of returning business, sport and community premises to their pre-flood condition including the replacement of flooring, fixtures and fittings and damaged stock where relevant. The scheme will not provide a contribution to loss of earnings or loss of business good-will.

The scheme will have two stages:

The first stage will commence immediately and will provide a contribution of up to €5,000, depending on the scale of damage incurred. It is anticipated that this will meet the needs for the majority of those affected. This will commence immediately and the intent is to process payments as speedily as possible.

In the event that the premises have incurred significant damages above €5,000, the second stage will provide a means to seek further support. The total level of support available for both stages combined will be capped at €20,000

Roads Update
The following roads remain closed:
• N80 through Mountmellick.
• R423 Ballyfin to Mountmellick
• L2097 Derrycloney to the R423
• L2096 Manor Street
• L2075 Manor Road
• R423 Mountmellick to Portarlington,
• L21331 Clonterry
• Bay Road

Local diversions remain in place. Motorists are urged to continue to exercise extreme caution on all roads, to observe road closure signs, drive appropriately and not attempt to drive through flooded areas and in particular to avoid the Mountmellick area.

As water levels continue to rise, the town of Portarlington is now under threat. In this regard, a supply of sand bags is being made available for collection from the depot at the rear of the Fire Station. Arrangements can be made for their distribution if required.

Useful information on how to deal with the aftermath of flooding can be accessed at http://www.flooding.ie/Intheeventofaflood/

Laois County Council would like to acknowledge the assistance and co-operation provided by other local authorities and all agencies including members of the Defence Forces and to thank the public for their on-going co-operation.

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