Donegal clean-up operation "very much underway" - Varadkar

A counselling service is being offered to those affected

Donegal clean-up operation "very much underway" - Varadkar

Image via @defenceforces on Twitter

Updated: 15.55

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the clean-up from recent storms in Donegal is "very much underway."

Up to 500 homes have been damaged in the north-west this week.

But the cost of the clean-up operation will not be known until the full extent of the destruction has been assessed.

The Defence Forces say personnel are assisting in operations for a second day.

Image: Flickr/Irish Defence Forces

A platoon of troops - with 30 personnel and four vehicles - have been deployed in Buncranagh, Clonmany, Carndonagh and Burnfoot.

An Air Corps helicopter was also used on Friday as part of an air reconnaissance mission to inspect the area.

The Defence Forces say they will continue to support Donegal County Council and local communities.

Image: Flickr/Irish Defence Forces

 While the Irish Red Cross has confirmed the Government have requested that it administer an emergency humanitarian support scheme to assist small businesses, community, voluntary and sporting bodies affected.

The details of the scheme are not yet known, but it is thought an announcement with details will be made early next week.

Once the scheme details are announced, application forms will be accessible via the Irish Red Cross website and relevant Government websites.

Image: Flickr/Irish Defence Forces

Support for those affected

Donegal County Council say its offices are open Saturday and Sunday in Inishowen.

Its offices in Buncrana and Carndonagh will remain open over the weekend to continue to respond and offer support those affected.

The council can be contacted outside office hours by calling 074-91-72288.

A counselling service is also being offered through a dedicated HSE Helpline for Flooding.

This is available from 9.00am to 5.00pm on 074-91-67558 or alternatively people can call the Samaritans at 116-123.

Donegal County Council is coordinating the support being provided by the Defence Forces in a number of private housing estates and other areas.

It is also providing skips and dehumidifiers for properties damaged by the floods.

Roads update

The R239 Muff to Quigley's Point road has re-opened as a single lane route with traffic lights in operation.

The R244 at Craignahorna and the R240 at Riverside will remain closed for the foreseeable future and local diversions are in place.

Some other local roads in rural areas remain closed and all motorists are asked to continue to drive with due care and attention, obey local diversions and allow extra time for their journeys.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, speaking in his weekly video message, said: "The clean-up operation is very much underway, led by the local authority and also the army.

"People who can no longer stay in their homes are being provided with temporary accommodation.

"And also work has begun on repairing the roads and bridges."

"Obviously there will be a need for extra support from central government... to allow all of the damage to be repaired.

"And I want the people of Donegal and Inishowen to know the central government is right behind then in this really important work and effort in the time ahead."