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'We are dealing with a substantial amount of flooding': Army called in to help in Mountmellick

The government has announced an emergency scheme to repair flood damage done to small businesses.

DOZENS OF FAMILIES had to be evacuated from their homes yesterday following severe flooding in the Loais town of Mountmellick.

Mountmellick is a small town about 10 kilometres from Portlaoise. Families had to be evacuated from their homes as heavy rain flooded the town.

The roads and streets in the area are under water after three rivers that meet in the town burst their banks.

RTÉ News reports that dozens of families spent the night in accommodation in Portlaoise as a result.

This evening, Minister of State with Responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe said that emergency assistance would be made available for small businesses adversely affected by the flooding.

The humanitarian flooding scheme will return businesses (with up to 20 employees), sports and community premises to their pre-flooding condition.

The scheme will have two stages: the first stage will provide a contribution of up to €5,000. It’s anticipated that this will meet the needs for the majority of those affected.

In the event that the premises have incurred significant damages above €5,000, the second stage will provide a means to seek further support. The total level of support available for both stages combined will be capped at €20,000.

Justice Minister and Laois TD Charlie Flanagan said that a humanitarian package was being prepared for the town and that the army would assist with the clean up.

Earlier, gardaí advised motorists to avoid all routes into the town as it remained impassable due to severe flooding.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, director of services Laois County Council Kieran Kehoe said that emergency workers were still dealing with flooding in the town.

“We’re still in a serious situation of flooding in Mountmellick,” he said.

In most of the town we’re not in the recovery or clean up stage yet we are actually still dealing with a substantial amount of flooding.

Kehoe said that a lot of the roads were still impassable in the town and many properties were impossible to get into.

“The river levels are still increasing in the Mountmellick area due to the unusually extreme rainfall that happened all yesterday morning for a 10 hour period,” he said.

He said that emergency crews were back out working this morning and that the army had been called in to assist.

AA Roadwatch has advised motorists travelling between Portlaoise and Tullamore intending to use the N80 that they should divert via Portarlington.

Since 8am, the Defence Forces has been deploying 30 personnel to assist with flood relief works in the Mountmellick area. It said in a statement that the troops from the Defence Forces Training Centre at the Curragh Camp were deployed following a request from Laois Co Council.

The Defence Forces personnel will bring specialist equipment to assist in flood defence, mobility and clean up taskings.

Read: Families evacuated in Laois as flooding spreads across the county

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