local resident has described how her neighbours were forced to
abandon their homes after the floods last weekend.
Wendy Jenkinson, who lives in Benvisteen
Park, off the Moira Road, said the area had been under three
feet of water throughout, which you would "need a boat to get
out" from. Wendy explained that the area apeared to be fine
following Saturday's deluge, however overnight the nearby River
Lagan burst its banks and many residents saw their homes
people have already had to abandon ship," said Wendy, "and the
DOE took an elderly couple out. There are homes already ruined,
if the rain doesn't stop I don't know what will happen.
"The DOE delivered sandbags on Sunday and
said they would come back, but they didn't. They said the water
is coming from the river and that it would be a waste of time to
get the lorries in to suck the water up as it will just keep
Wendy continued: "The water is filthy, there
are planks of wood floating about in it. I have been here 18
years and this is the first time I've ever seen anything like
this, but with the amount of rain that fell I'm sure a lot of
places are just the same."
Wendy said she intends to sit it out and wait
until the water recedes, despite losing some power in her home.
"Some of our electricity is off, there are
some lights and sockets not working, but you just have to make
do," she said.
"I asked my neighbours if they needed any
help, but it was already too late. They live in a bungalow and
there was about six inches of water in their living room, their
home is just ruined."
Three elderly people left stranded by water
THREE elderly people in Dunmurry were left
stranded when the car they were travelling in got stuck in a
flood and was then stolen by what they first believed were good
The elderly man was driving his new blue
Renault Laguna car on the Stewartstown Road when his car got
stuck in a flood around 6.40am on Sunday morning. The
registration number for the vehicle is VLZ 1788.
Two young men came to their assistance and
were able to get the vehicle out of the flooded waters.
But the so called 'rescuers' then refused to
get out of the car or hand over the keys and made off in the
vehicle in the direction of McKinstrys Roundabout, leaving the
elderly trio stranded.
One of the thieves was described as tall,
thin with dark hair and wearing a dark top.
The second was small with blond hair and he
drove the car.
Anyone who can assist in identifying these
criminals or can provide details on the whereabouts of the
stolen Renault Laguna is asked to get in touch with police. They
can be contacted on 08456008000 or use the Crimestoppers number
which is 0800-5006000.
This gives some idea of the amount of
water lying on the roads in the Lurganure area after
the weekend downpours.
The Lagan tributary causes flooding
near the Bumhouse, Lisburn last weekend. Pic by
The flooded footpath and cycletrack
at Laurelhill, Lisburn Pic by Robert Wilkinson
Council ready to help people claim emergency
PEOPLE living in the Lisburn area who have
been affected by flooding are being urged to contact the city
council to help them get access to the Northern Ireland
Executive's emergency payments scheme.
Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson, announced
that he is making available an emergency payment of £1,000 to
householders whose homes were damaged
by last weekend's floods. Those affected in the
Lisburn City Council area who wish to make a claim should
contact the Environmental Health Unit, Lisburn City Council, as
quickly as possible on tel: 9250 9250, email:
or fax: 9250 9378.
These payments, when verified, are totally
separate from insurance claims and will be regarded as
ments intended to help people get back on
their feet and assist them in ensuring their homes are
A council spokesperson said council Officers
will make every effort to respond to households affected by
flooding as soon as possible.
They also say that householders intending to
make a claim against their household insurance for damage caused
by flooding are advised not to dispose of any damaged property
before contacting their insurance company.
"The Council will do everything it can to
ensure that the key agencies with responsibility for dealing
with flooding incidents and the clean up afterwards fulfil their
duties in terms of providing sandbags, emergency accommodation"
said the spokesperson.
Archer calls for effective strategies
LISBURN Councillor David Archer has called on
government agencies to develop effective strategies for future
Speaking after the torrential downpours at
the weekend, Mr Archer said: "Almost without exception in each
of the most recent occasions of flash flooding in the Province
we hear stories of people not being able to obtain sandbags or
in some cases having to fill their own. "People who telephone
for assistance when experiencing difficulties are often shunted
around various government agencies due to a lack of
cross-departmental planning and co-operation. "The Northern
Ireland Executive has got to wake up and realise that this type
of freakish weather is becoming an all too regular occurrence
and develop effective strategies to enable the community to cope
with the consequences of flash flooding."
Free of charge MOT tests to weather affected
LISBURN motorists unable to attend vehicle or
driving tests due to the torrential rain last Saturday will have
their appointments re-scheduled free of charge.
The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) this week
announced it would rearrange MOT tests free of charge for
motorists affected by the severe weather.
A DVA spokesperson said: "We recognise the difficulty many
customers faced due to the adverse weather conditions on
Saturday 16 August. "Therefore we are urging customers who were
unable to attend for their vehicle or driving test to contact
the test centre involved where their appointment will be
rescheduled free of charge." DVA urged motorists who need
reappointments to call their local test centre where their
appointment was booked and ask for the centre manager to issue
them a free test.
'Where were the army'
DEPUTY Mayor Alderman Edwin Poots has
questioned why the army were not called in to help in rescue
operations following the flooding. As local people waited for
Roads Service personnel to deliver sandbags to prevent their
homes from being destroyed, Mr Poots asked why troops were not
asked to help in the operation.
Mr Poots said: "Were the army not asked to
help? And if not, why not? They would normally step in to help
in these sort of situations."
In response to Mr Poot's query a DRD
spokesperson said that the involvement of the army in times of
crises was a decision for the PSNI rather than the department.
`Gritters should be delivering sandbags'
LISBURN Councillor Brian Heading has
suggested the Roads Service should use their gritting vehicles
to distribute sand bags to areas at risk of flooding.
Mr Heading said, "We've all heard the news
reports of people unable to obtain sandbags from Roads Service
depots over the weekend and that is disgraceful.
"There must be many lessons learnt by the
flooding and in future Roads Service could deploy their gritting
vehicles for distributing sand bags to vulnerable households."
A DRD spokesperson said: "There is a
multi-agency response to flooding, and this includes the
distribution of sandbags.
"In the event of extreme heavy rainfall
situations Roads Service aims to effectively deploy its
available resources in order to maintain road safety and protect
property where possible"