Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Lurganure Road - The Venice of the North.

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 with.

A home on the Ballinderry Road is surrounded by the flood water from the Ballinderry river."We 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.

Vehicles make their way through the flooded Moira Road. US3308- 116A0"If 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'

Jacob, Abi and Dawson found more than they expected when they went out in Lurganure at the weekend.THE 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 its banks.

The heavy rainfall led to many familes having to evacuate their homes, whilst others just managed to stem the flow.

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 underneath."

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."

Ulster Star