County House in Lifford
Seventeen families have been offered emergency accommodation by Donegal County Council but the number of families left homeless by Tuesday's flooding could be higher.
The 17 families that have been left homeless were all tenants of Donegal County Council, but the local authority said today it does not know how many people living in private accommodation have been left homeless but the devastating floods.
The council is calling on any one affected by the flooding who may need accommodation to get in touch.
An emergency council meeting today heard that most of the families offered emergency accommodation have chosen to stay with friends or relatives. Some have taken up the option of an initial five nights in bed and breakfast accommodation.
Area manager for housing, Aideen Doherty, said the council knew of 17 families who had been left homeless. While the council is hearing “anecdotal figures” about the number of people who might need housing they do not have a clear picture of the situation. She said the number needing accommodation is expected to rise.
“We are appealing to people to contact us if they are in a situation where they need assistance with their housing,” she said.
Ms Doherty said the first calls from tenants needing assistance came at 6.30 pm on Tuesday.
The families affected were offered B&B accommodation on Wednesday night and the council will continue dialogues with them in the coming days, she said.
Those affected include at least one pregnant woman and a child with serious health needs.
“We have pregnancies, children at risk in terms of health and we will respond as appropriately as we can to each individual family,” she said.
“We are trying to get those families back into their homes at the earliest opportunity but that could take time.”
Anyone affected by the flooding who may need accommodation assistance from the Donegal County Council is asked to contact the council's housing section on 074 91 53900.