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Clonakilty yesterday morning Anthony McDermott

Cork floods: Clonakilty is 'open for business' insists Mayor

Work continues on the clean-up operation after extensive damage was caused to a number of Cork towns yesterday morning.

THE MAYOR OF Clonakilty has said that the Cork town is open for business this morning, hailing the clean-up operation following a torrent of rain that devastated the town’s main thoroughfare yesterday morning.

Mayor Cionnaith O’Suilleabhain said that the heavy flooding had caused much “heartbreak and devastation” for the people of the town but praised the clean-up operation that took place yesterday as the community looks to return to normal in the coming days.

“We experienced something that we never before witnessed in our town,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“We have had flooding in the past but what was inflicted on our town during those few hours early yesterday morning was something no one in the town ever witnessed before.”

Homes and businesses along the main thoroughfare of Clonakilty were badly damaged following heavy rainfall which saw the river Feale burst its banks.

O’Suilleabhain said that “dozens and dozens” of people from local authorities as well as volunteers helped in the clean-up operation yesterday which was mostly completed in around five to six hours.

But he said the town will be affected “for quite a while”.

The Sinn Féin mayor said that most shops and businesses will be open this morning: “Clonakilty is open for business at 9am this morning.”

With flooding affecting other parts of Cork including Douglas, Blackpool, and Glanmire, crews from Cork County Council continued to work through the night to clear the devastation with skips being provided and flood victims offered access to community recycling sites.

Also on RTÉ Radio this morning, Michael Horan from the Irish Insurance Federation said that it would likely take up to a month to come up with an overall cost for the damage.

“Our advice to people always is to contact their insurance company as soon as possible,” he told Morning Ireland. “There is a temptation to get stuck in and start fixing things yourself.”

Meanwhile the Fianna Fáil leader and Cork native Micheál Martin has called on the government to set up a taskforce with a mandate to ensure that banks and insurance companies deal with flooding victims and their needs in a timely fashion.

“This would be made up of local authority representatives, officials from government, the banks, the Irish Insurance Federation and community representatives,” he said of the taskforce.

“This should operate alongside a Government compensation package to help people in the most need.

“It’s crucial that neither the banks nor insurance companies are allowed drag their feet and delay recovery for homeowners and businesses.

“The Government needs a comprehensive response for the people of Cork and I believe this would go a long way towards ensuring that people are able to access the information and help that they need now,” he added.

The Clonakilty Favour Exchange website details offers of help for people affected by the floods including accommodation, storage and counselling.

Read: Mud and more mud: Flood clean-up begins (Pics)

Read: Flooding, power cuts reported around Ireland following heavy rainfall

Read: Clonakilty “was like Venice” during floods

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