Humanitarian aid opens for Wexford residents hit by Christmas Day flooding

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Humanitarian Aid Opens For Wexford Residents Hit By Christmas Day Flooding Humanitarian Aid Opens For Wexford Residents Hit By Christmas Day Flooding
Residents across Wexford woke up on Sunday to the effects of yesterday's torrential rain. Photo: Dave Parsons of Rescue 117
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Sarah Slater

The Government has pledged to support residents, homeowners and businesses in Co Wexford who were hit by flash flooding on Christmas Day.

Residents across Wexford woke up on Sunday to the effects of yesterday's torrential rain, which left many roads impassable, along with flooding in streets and houses.

With the county under a status yellow rain warning, Gorey councillor Andrew Bolger said a status red warning would have been more appropriate given the destruction caused.

The Government has opened up its humanitarian assistance scheme for those impacted, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys confirmed on Sunday.

"As the clean-up operation begins, financial assistance will be provided to any household affected,” she said.

"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."

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One town experienced the worst flooding in 62 years. Photo: Dave Parsons of Rescue 117

Worst flooding in 62 years

The commitment comes as one town experienced the worst flooding in 62 years.

A multi-agency response swung into action in Bridgetown, Co Wexford when it became submerged as heavy rainfall hit the area from early morning on Christmas Day. Many of the population of 462 were affected.

People in nine homes had to be rescued by emergency services, including the Irish Coast Guard Air and Sea Rescue 117 helicopter.

Two casualties needed help in two separate locations by Rescue 117 paramedics, but no serious injuries were reported.

A spokesperson for the Irish Lifeboats said: “Our teams are just sitting down to Christmas Dinner having been tasked at 11.30am to respond to a report of serious flooding at Bridgetown.

“We assisted a number of people from flooded houses and cars, and assisted our colleague's at Rescue 117 with a number of medical incidents. Awful conditions for the locals with extensive flooding.

“A long day with many people assisted. Well done to all the crews on scene.”

People in nine homes had to be rescued by emergency services. Photo: Dave Parsons of Rescue 117

The rescue was coordinated by Dublin Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, which said that Wexford was “inundated” by flooding.

The multi-agency response also involved the Fethard-on-sea Coast Guard Unit, Kilmore Quay Coast Guard, Rosslare Coast Guard, Wexford gardaí, the Wexford Fire Service and the HSE.

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Local Civil Defence teams set up accommodation in a local community centre.

Alan O’Reilly of Carlow Weather explained that a weather station in Mulrankin in Wexford recorded 91.4mm of rain on Christmas Day.

That is over a month’s rainfall in 16 hours

“That is over a month’s rainfall in 16 hours with some awful flooding,” he said.

A road along Chapel Station in Adamstown was completely washed away, while Hodgesemill Road in Piercestown was impassable for most of the day. Parts of Enniscorthy town also became impassable.

The N80 was closed between Ballickmoyler and Graiguecullen for a time while the Portlaoise, the Old Derrig, Cutts and Joe’s Roads were also flooded.

Wexford County Council issued warnings across social media of flooded roads, many of which became impassable, including at Castlebridge, Carcur in Wexford town, Carleys Bridge in Enniscorthy and “scores of other locations.”

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According to Wicklow County Council, the M11 at Junctions 23/24 were closed in both directions due to flooding, with diversions in place for several hours.

There were also reports of extensive flooding in parts of Carlow town and county, with the R448 at the Royal Oak badly affected. Knock Lane in Ballymurphy was closed for all of Christmas Day due to heavy flooding.

Traffic was reduced to a single lane at Church Hill in Hacketstown, Co Carlow following the collapse of a verge, according to Carlow County Fire and Rescue Services.

Ms Humphreys has said anyone with queries about the humanitarian assistance scheme can contact the Department of Social Protection at 087 985 9290 or by emailing kieran.dunne1@welfare.ie.

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