Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD Nicky McFadden has highlighted the urgency of completing the Shannon Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study (CFRAM) in order to adequately deal with flooding issues along the River Shannon.
Deputy McFadden requested an update on the Shannon CFRAM report from Minister of State at the OPW Brian Hayes this week and asked the Minister to acknowledge the urgency of completion of the report in view of the recent flooding along the River Shannon.
“Minister Hayes has told me that good progress is being made by the Office of Public Works working with its consultants Jacobs Engineering, local authorities and others to deliver the Shannon CFRAM,” said Deputy McFadden.
“The CFRAM is taking a strategic approach that recognises the need to move to a more sustainable, planned and risk-based approach to dealing with flooding problems. Work started in January 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in 2016.
“The Shannon River Basin District covers some 17,800kms2 and includes parts of 17 counties. Under the programme, work on Draft Flood Maps will be finalised during 2014 and Flood Risk Management Plans are due to be completed in 2016. Some draft maps are already available on the project website www.shannoncframstudy.ie.”
Deputy McFadden added: “The Minister hopes that the draft flood maps produced under the CFRAM will be brought to formal public consultation in summer/autumn 2014 and informal Public Information Days on the Draft Flood Maps will also take place also.”
She added that in relation to people who have been affected by recent flooding, she has asked Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to outline the schemes available to those who have not been able to get house insurance since previous floods.
“A humanitarian assistance scheme, which is means tested, is available to assist people whose homes are damaged by flooding and who are not in a position to meet costs for essential needs, household items and in some instances structural repair. Levels of payment under the scheme depend on the relative severity of damage experienced and the household’s ability to meet these costs ensuring that the funding is appropriately targeted. Humanitarian assistance does not cover risks that are covered by insurance policies or cover business or commercial losses,” Deputy McFadden said.
“Under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme, the Department can make a single exceptional needs payment to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.
“In addition to this payment, there is also assistance in the form of an urgent needs payment (UNP) which can be made to persons who would not normally be entitled to Supplementary Welfare Allowance,” Deputy McFadden said