The Government will provide financial support to householders affected by the severe flooding in Co Wexford, it was confirmed today.
The Minister for Social Protection and Rural & Community Development, Heather Humphreys, said officials in her department have opened the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme “to assist those households impacted by last night’s severe flooding”.
She said in a post on Twitter: “I know this is a very difficult time for those impacted by this flooding incident .
My officials are meeting with other agencies shortly and are on standby to support anyone who needs it.”
A bridge collapsed at Wilton Bree, Wexford County Council confirmed this morning while the bridge at Kilcarbry in Enniscorthy has been “severely damaged”.
A number of people were evacuated from their car which became trapped due to flooding in Bridgetown.
Community Welfare Service officials with the Department of Social Protection are now engaging with Wexford County Council.
As the clean-up operations begin, financial supports will be made available to the householders impacted.
Fine Gael TD Paul Kehoe, who lives in one of the worst impacted areas – Bree, just outside Enniscorthy – said the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme funding would be crucial for the people of Wexford who have had their homes and livelihoods “completely destroyed”.
Mr Kehoe told RTÉ News: “I have never witnessed anything like it in my entire life.
“It was biblical what I saw yesterday…monsoon stuff.
“Houses and businesses have been flooded. Some roads, bridges and footpaths have been completely destroyed.
“I was driving yesterday and I could feel it underneath, the road surface being ripped away.”
#Arklow crew in attendance at flooding in #Wexford on the M11 pic.twitter.com/Sjg7B67SYt
— Wicklow Fire Service (@FireWicklow) December 25, 2021
Mr Kehoe said that he had spoken with Minister Heather Humphreys this morning and requested that she should open up funding urgently.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan expressed his concern over the damage caused to bridges and road infrastructure in the southeast region, adding that his department would provide full support to Wexford County Council and other affected councils.
He said an allocation for repairs will be made from the 2022 Regional and Local Roads fund.
Meanwhile, Ambulance Officer for County Wexford and independent county councillor Ger Carthy said that residents at a HSE run facility in St Helen’s have now been transferred into another HSE residential unit.
He said county council engineers are assessing the damage caused to three bridges; Little Cullenstown, Bree and Adamstown.
“They will be deciding what the best course of action is and people can expect diversions to remain in place for some time,” he said.
Bridgetown, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour were the worst affected areas.
Mr Carthy said: “This was an adverse weather event which turned into an absolute nightmare for some families on a day when they should have been opening presents and enjoying themselves.”
He said that yesterday was an extremely busy day for all of the emergency services and paid tribute to their hard work and dedication to the people of Wexford.