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Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
Residents forced to flee homes - via canoe

A woman is stranded in car at the Gallops housing development, Lisburn.FAMILIES 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 water.

"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 Service.

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 flooding

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:

DO:

  • 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.

Electrician

  • 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.

DON'T:

  • Attempt to switch on the lights or use candles to guide you.
  • 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 so.

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 www.esc.org.uk.

For further advice and information call the Electrical Safety Council helpline on 0870 040 0561 or visit www.esc.org.uk.

Ulster Star
22/08/2008