marooned in their homes for days by freak floods were left with
only one option -jump in a canoe.
Residents of The Gallops housing development
in Lisburn were stranded by the weekend's downpours as around
six feet of water surged into the entrance of the complex as the
River Lagan burst its banks, making it impossible for homeowners
to drive in or out.
But one resident decided to make the most of
it - and took some of the local children canoeing in the deluge.
One of his neighbours, Corina Connor, said:
"He just did it for a laugh. Everyone was bored and irritated at
being trapped in their homes.
"I suppose he thought he should just make the
most of it."
But she branded the stretch of water a hazard to
motorists because, she said, police had failed to cordon it off
properly. "Cars are coming round bendy country roads and being
confronted with this stretch of water and are having to screech
to a stop," she said.
"There's no flashing barrier to warn
motorists - and the street lights have been cut off by the
"At night that's a real danger -we're just
waiting for an accident." Luckily, the torrent did not sweep
into the newly-built homes - but families on the new island
can't get to work.
Motorists who decided to try and push through
the basin of water found themselves trapped.
One woman had to call a neighbourly farmer to
use his tractor to drag out her car.
Another resident said he even spotted a Water
van trapped in the water yesterday.
Karen Martin — who has to climb over a fence
to get out of her house — said she was disappointed by Roads
All they've done is give us a few sandbags —
what good is that to people trying to make a living?" she said.
But with the Lagan flooding the surrounding
fields, there is nowhere for the water to be deposited.
Residents at The Gallops escaped the worst of
the flooding. Surrounding homes in Culcavy, Ballinderry, Glenavy
and Maze were inundated with water.
During the worst of the monsoon-like
conditions on Saturday the Hillhall Road was closed between
Lisburn to Drumbeg, as was the Ballyrobin Road at Killead.
Advice on dealing with electricity after
THE Electrical Satety Council has issued
advice for households in the Lisburn area following the floods.
"Water and electricity are a lethal
combination", says Phil Buckle, Director of Charitable Affairs
at the Electrical Safety Council. "Anyone who has suffered a
flood in their home must consider the damage that may have been
caused to their electrical wiring, sockets and electrical
appliances. Flood-damaged electrical goods and installations may
be dangerous and anyone concerned about their safety should ask
a registered electrician to assess their safety and condition
before use." The Electrical Safety Council has put together the
following advice for householders, in dealing with flood damage
to their homes, once the water has subsided:
- Make sure the property is safe before you enter.
- Have a torch at hand when entering the property.
- Switch off the electricity supply at the fuse box, if it
is safe to do so.
- Arrange for other services, such as gas, to be turned
off by the service providers. The electricity and gas
supplies should remain off until advised by them it is safe
to turn them back on.
- Contact your insurance company (and your landlord, if
applicable) to tell them what's happened and to get advice
and take instruction.
- Use a registered electrician to assess the condition and
safety of the electrical wiring in the property and fixed
and portable electrical appliances affected by the flood.
- Seek professional advice about the restoration of your
property, before clean up commences.
- Attempt to switch on the lights or use candles to guide
- Switch on any electrical appliances in the areas
affected by the flood until they have been tested and
assessed as safe by a registered electrician.
- Attempt any electrical repairs or connection of
temporary electrical supplies yourself.
- Touch any exposed wires - they may still be live.
- Start' to clean up until you are sure it is safe to do
The Electrical Safety Council has produced a
leaflet advising how to deal with flood damaged property which
is available to download free of charge at
For further advice and information call the Electrical Safety
Council helpline on 0870 040 0561 or visit