§ Mr. McGrady
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to compensate those who suffered severe damage to farmland, business and domestic premises as a result of the harsh weather and flooding on the night of 28 October.
§ Mr. Viggers
The Government do not compensate private individuals for losses or damages which would normally be covered by insurance, but we have instructed Northern Ireland Departments to react as sympathetically as possible to individual problems. Where employment is at risk, the Industrial Development Board and the local530W enterprise development unit are prepared to consider, on an individual basis and on their merits, requests for financial assistance from their client companies. Under the supplementary benefit scheme, some £252,000 has been paid to meet exceptional and urgent needs arising from the flooding. In addition, England, Wales and Northern Ireland are to receive help from the EC for disaster relief.
§ Mr. William Ross
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects to complete his assessment of flood damage in Northern Ireland due to the exceptional rainfall of 21 October and; if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Needham
[holding answer 2 November 1987]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received a full initial assessment of the flood damage. Government Departments have already been in action to help those affected. Over £250,000 has been paid by DHSS to meet urgent needs; homes have been visited to see where personal help can be provided ; special EC funds are to be provided ; and British Coal has donated a stockpile of coal.
The initial assessment of flood damage shows that in seven areas of the Province 500 houses, 200 commercial premises, six manufacturing premises and several schools and hospitals were flooded. Some 16,000 poultry, 300 sheep and a few pigs and cattle were reported drowned while some 80 hectares of arable crops and 130 hectares of winter sown crops were flooded. In addition many roads were damaged and in particular four bridges were entirely destroyed, including the bridge at Kilmaddy on the main A4 road between Dungannon and Ballygawley, although a Bailey bridge to replace this was erected. on Sunday 25 October.
The emergency services and the security forces both reacted excellently in mitigating the effects of the flooding at the time.