Storms jpg

Flooding to be more frequent

More rain on the way. This NASA satellite photo shows Storm Eva about to give Ireland a Christmas soaking.

By Evan Short

Forget the White Christmas. Think wet!

Ireland needs to prepare itself for frequent incidents of flooding as climate change becomes more of an issue.

The warning comes as large parts of the country along the River Shannon are still under water with homes and businesses suffering in the run-up to Christmas.

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Praising the response to the recent flooding and warning residents that more could be on the way, Fine Gael TD for Laois/Offaly, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, said the local response to flooding had been fantastic.

“The response of the county councils and local volunteers to the recent severe flooding has been exemplary,” she said. “The local community has dealt with the flooding better than ever before, but the unfortunate reality is that families, farmers and businesses are set to be inconvenienced again as the climate changes,” she said.

“This year many homes and businesses have suffered due to flooding, and a huge amount of land remains submerged. The government has provided emergency humanitarian support of up to €20,000 for small businesses with up to twenty employees which are not covered by flood insurance. County councils have also worked extremely hard to clear flood water from roads, homes and businesses.

And she continued: “The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is also available which provides emergency income support, replacement of goods and household items, as well as long term financial aid and works.

“Every effort must be made to ensure that flood relief works are planned, funded and in place to protect the midlands from further flooding. However, we must all accept that further flooding in the future is inevitable as climate change becomes a real issue.”

On the back of the commitments made at the Paris Climate Change Conference, Corcoran Kennedy said the recent flooding highlighted once again the importance of setting and working to achieve climate change targets.

“The White Paper on Energy was printed last week outlining our commitment to reducing the reliance on fossil fuels. These commitments are closely linked to flooding and other climate related issues that we have been experiencing,” she said.

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