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Properties damaged by flooding in the Eglinton area (Gary Middleton MLA/PA) PA
Floody Hell

Derry residents need more support to repair homes damaged by flooding, says local councillor

Martin Reilly of the SDLP said affected residents were told after flooding in 2017 that the event was a once-in-a-century occurance.

RESIDENTS OF SEVERAL parts of Derry are tired of having to repair flood damage to their homes with little support from Northern Ireland’s Department of Infrastructure, an SDLP councillor has said.

Parts of the north-west of Ireland were hit by heavy rain over the weekend, causing damage to houses and infrastructure in Donegal and Derry.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One this morning, Martin Reilly, an SDLP councillor representing Derry and Strabane said affected residents were told in 2017, after similar flooding, that the event was a once-in-a-century occurrance.

“Every household that flooded that I spoke to were had been flooded in the past,” he said, adding that many such homes were ineligible for insurance to cover serious water damage.

“They have to pay for the cost of the damages themselves.

“I think the people who were flooded back in the initial large, catastrophic floods we had in 2017 are looking now, five years later, and having to pick up the pieces again for their family homes, having repaired their house and and gone through the process of of dealing with the mental trauma that this flooding brings, as well as the impact to the property itself.”

Local firefighters tackled almost 50 emergency calls relating to flooding.

There was a Met Office yellow weather warning in place in the area on Saturday evening and on Sunday.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said it received 106 emergency calls related to flooding between 7pm on Saturday to 1.30am on Sunday.

Reilly said households could apply for a £1,000 grant for repairs, but that wasn’t enough “to cover the costs of the damage in totality.”

He said that residents appreciated that the flooding took place outside business hours, but now, the Department of Infrastructure “need to have a clearer response in relation to what steps they’re taking.”

Garry Martin, the Director of Services with Donegal County Council, said most of the flooding occurred around east Inishowen.

Donegal’s fire service responded with pumps and sandbags and the council attended to flooded roads in the area.

“Our first priority was the preservation of life and to ensure that no one’s injured.”

He said the council would be speaking to the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management to decide whether there was a need to activate a support scheme for businesses affected by the flooding.

Additional reporting from PA

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