Air Corps fly over "disaster zone" in Donegal to assess damage

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Air Corps fly over

Speaking as he visited the communities devastated by flooding for the first time, Mr Varadkar insisted the Government and State agencies responded to the disaster promptly and promised relief efforts will be further escalated.

The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has arrived in county Donegal this evening to see the damaged caused by devastating flooding this week.

It is estimated up to 500 homes could have been affected by this weeks severe flooding.

The Air Corps have also flown an air reconnaissance mission over Burnfoot, Buncrana and Cardonagh to inspect the area of operations, following a request from Donegal County Council.

Officials from the Departments of Transport, Social Protection, Environment and OPW met at the Custom House to discuss the best way to support Donegal County Council.

He said Insurance Ireland is working with the Government to maintain and increase flood cover in defended areas, where flood defenses have been installed.

There are calls for more to be done to protect homeowners in Donegal affected by the floods.

He met with a number of people whose homes were severely damaged in the floods and those involved in the major clean-up operation.

"People who can no longer stay in their home are being provided with temporary accommodation and also work has begun on repairing the road and bridges", the Taoiseach said.

Earlier, Minister of State with responsibility for Defence Paul Keogh said more personnel will be sent to assist Donegal County Council if necessary.

It was also agreed that a Red Cross scheme to help small businesses and sports clubs will be opened.

Financial support under the Department of Employment and Social Protection's Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is available for things such as clothing and food for households directly impacted.

But Fianna Fáil's Eugene Murphy has said homeowners should be protected by law.

Mr Moran also urged insurers not to blacklist areas that have been hit by the floods.

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