Lurganure Road - The Venice of the North.
ALMOST every part of Lisburn was hit at the
weekend after a freak downpour led to homes and roads suffering
the worst flooding in living memory. The fire service's Kevin
O'Neill said it was the most severe flooding he has ever dealt
have had all our crews out since virtually two o'clock yesterday
on Saturday afternoon and all through the night dealing with
incidents relating to flood water," he said.
"I don't think we've ever seen a time when
the flooding has been as devastating as this or has affected the
road transport as badly."
For many people the damage didn't occur until
many hours later when the rain poured into local rivers which
burst their banks bringing chaos.
And it took days for the water to subside
before the work of clearing up could properly begin.
Lisburn Council issued advice to people whose
homes were damaged by the floods on how they can claim emergency
compensation announced by the Environment Minister. Environment
Minister Sammy Wilson said: "Individual householders will be
eligible for a £1,000 payment as an offer of practical
assistance to those who have suffered severe inconvenience, to
ensure homes are made habitable as quickly as possible. It is
not a compensation payment.
you feel you may be entitled to the payment, contact your local
council as soon as possible so that an urgent inspection may be
arranged. If the council decides your claim is eligible, you
will receive your payment within a matter of days. In addition,
your council can also offer a range of practical help and
guidance, including collection, retention and disposal of
damaged household content, assistance in making arrangements to
clean up home and gardens, and by providing de-humidifiers to
dry out homes." The Minister continued: "My Department will
reimburse councils for the £1,000 payments to individual
householders, and for the direct and indirect costs of providing
practical assistance and advice. Those affected in the Lisburn
City Council area and 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
'hardship' payments intended to help people get back on their
feet and assist them in ensuring their homes are habitable.
"Council Officers will make every effort to
respond to households affected by flooding as soon as possible"
said a spokesperson.
"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"
Families left wading 'waist deep in water'
deluge last weekend left families living on the Ballinderry Road
wading "waist deep in water" as they attempted to save their
homes from the flood waters.
Those living in Lower Ballinderry said that
the area flooded on Saturday after the Ballinderry river burst
The heavy rainfall led to many familes having
to evacuate their homes, whilst others just managed to stem the
Adding to the problems was a hole in the
bridge across the river, which occurred in February when a car
hit it. Since the accident the hole has been covered by tape,
however the damage only exacerbated the flooding problem.
One local resident said: "The river rose
above the banks onto the road and gushed along the road and our
driveway was the first opening it had to turn into. We put a
course of bricks across the gateway and that reduced the flow a
bit as it went on down the road. If we hadn't done that the
garage would have been flooded. As it was it was only two inches
away from doing so.
"The sandbags didn't arrive until 1 1pm so
they were far too late to be helpful. The house next door to us
was flooded indoors, all its downstairs rooms, from water rising
Another resident added: "You know things like
this happen, but it has never ever been been this bad as long as
we've lived here."