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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 20 October 2021

Ireland to stock up on 240,000 tonnes of salt this winter

A once-off relocation scheme for those impacted by last year’s floods was also announced today.

Image: Niall Carson

THE GOVERNMENT IS to stock up on 240,000 tonnes of salt in preparation for the winter months ahead.

At the launch of the government’s Be Winter Ready campaign yesterday – which aims to inform and prepare people about preparations they should make ahead of the winter – Transport Minister Shane Ross said this amount is well in excess of the amount used in previous  years.

Harsh winter of 2010

Last year, 96,000 tonnes was used during the cold spells, while during the harsh 2010 winter 130,000 tonnes was used. During 2010, havoc descended on the public when salt supplies ran low.

Ross said that this year’s supply should be sufficient, but added that “procedures are in place” to get further supplies if needed.

The information campaign, launched at the National Emergency Coordination Centre in Dublin, also set out what will be done this winter to help those affected by the severe flooding last year.

Britain Northern Ireland Weather Source: AP/Press Association Images

Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief said the inter-departmental report on flooding was approved by Cabinet.

One of the report’s recommendations for a scheme that will relocate families living in flood prone areas, will see homeowners offered compensation to help them move, if they choose to do so.

Humanitarian scheme

“It is a humanitarian aid scheme,” explained Canney .

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Flood Relief Eugene Murphy has given a cautious welcome to the recommendations of a new report.

“The main thrust of this scheme is a voluntary relocation programme for families living in flood prone areas.  I have been working with these families for almost a year at this stage and the fact of the matter is that many of them do not want to leave their homes,” said Murphy.

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said the Be Winter Ready information campaign aims to ensure that ”as many people of possible understand the risks” and “are not taken by surprise” by harsh winter weather.

He said people needed to prepare for the winter months – “what we can expect and perhaps what we can’t expect”.

“Last year, the flooding cost this country €100 million. Some people refer to it as 100 year flooding. I think most of us are realistic enough to know that we are not going to be waiting about another 99 years for that level of flooding. We need to be winter ready.”

More information on the ‘Be Winter Ready’ campaign can be found on its website. You can keep up with updates on Twitter @emergencyIE #bewinterready  

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