Irish premier Leo Varadkar has said the Government would be focusing on repairs so people in Leitrim “can get back into their houses hopefully before Christmas”.
Several people’s homes and businesses were severely damaged after a suspected tornado hit the Irish village on Sunday.
A clean-up effort is under way to assess the scale of the damage done after high winds hit street lights, overturned boats in the harbour and lifted roof slates off buildings.
The Taoiseach visited the area on Monday to see the scale of the damage in person, and praised the emergency services for their fast response to the extreme weather event.
“I think it’s only when you really see it you get an appreciation for the explosive force of a whirlwind, and that’s essentially what happened in this village yesterday,” he said, speaking to reporters in Leitrim.
Mr Varadkar said “we were blessed” no-one was seriously injured or killed given “the force of the wind that ripped through here”.
He said electricity would return to the village on Monday evening, and said the government’s focus would be on facilitating repairs and contacting insurers.
“From the people I spoke to today, almost everyone has insurance,” he told reporters.
“So it’s really a case of making sure that the insurance covers an event like this and from what I got from people today, it does and they’ve had a good response from their insurance companies.
“But we’ll of course talk to them centrally, Minister (of State Jennifer) Carroll MacNeill will do that on behalf of the Government and then try and iron out any issues that might arise.”
He said other payments are on offer to help people affected.
“Immediately, the humanitarian scheme from the Department of Social Protection is open and that helps people who are affected if their homes are damaged with financial support,” he said.
“Then as well as that, for those who couldn’t go home, the council has provided them with emergency accommodation as well if they needed it.
“But the next step really is to engage with the insurance companies. Most people are insured, but it can take time for that money to come through. And we can put in place some business supports in particular to help the businesses affected.
“Because there are people obviously who would have expected a very busy period in the run-up to Christmas, they would have staff who would have planned in their minds money, overtime and so on, those are the kind of things we can help with.”
He said damage to public infrastructure such as street lighting and roads will have to be costed and there will be a “special allocation to the council” to cover those repairs.