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Properties damaged by flooding in the Eglinton area. PA
Flooding

Call for emergency payment to be triggered after heavy flooding in Northern Ireland

Six people were rescued following heavy flooding across Derry and Strabane.

LAST UPDATE | 24 Jul 2022

STORMONT HAS BEEN urged to activate an emergency payment scheme following flooding across the north-west.

Six people were rescued after areas of Derry and Strabane experienced heavy flooding.

Firefighters tackled almost 50 emergency calls relating to flooding yesterday.

The Met Office issued a fresh yellow weather warning for rain applying across Northern Ireland from noon to 9pm today.

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

Firefighters responded to 49 incidents.

One person was rescued from a vehicle in water, and five people were helped after becoming trapped within flooded properties.

Stormont’s Department for Infrastructure (DfI) said its team responded to almost 300 calls to the flooding incident line and provided assistance to affected residents and businesses throughout the night.

“It is estimated that over 8,000 sandbags were deployed,” a spokesperson said this afternoon.

Whilst waters levels have receded at affected locations, DfI and multi-agency partners are still in a high state of alert across all areas and we continue to prepare for a further rain warning issued for Sunday with pre-emptive measures ongoing including the replenishment of sandbag stocks and checking of drainage infrastructure.

Donegal County Council reported that heavy rain in East Inishowen has resulted in damage to roads and bridges in the area.

It warned of significant debris on the main Muff to Moville road, and on Sunday morning asked the public to avoid journeys in the area.

PSNI also urged motorists to exercise extreme caution on the roads in Derry and Strabane, adding a number of routes are flooded and impassable.

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan said it had been a “desperate and difficult night” for people fighting flooding to protect their and their neighbours’ homes and property.

He said he has written to Stormont Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey to request she urgently activates the Emergency Payment Scheme for Flooding to get money to householders.

“People from across our districts have shown immense community spirit yesterday and today and I want to thank them for it. From firefighters doing everything they can to rescue people and prevent the destruction of property to people who went out of their way to provide their neighbours with sandbags and support,” he said.

“We now need to accelerate flood-alleviation schemes and there needs to be a sharp review of flood preparedness.

“Many people struggled to get sandbags yesterday as flood water entered their homes and they are rightly frustrated at what has happened to them.

“Lessons must be learned quickly but the most important thing remains getting immediate support to those dealing with the aftermath of this.”

DUP Foyle MLA Gary Middleton said the heavy rain has had a “devastating impact” on many properties across the area.

He said several businesses have been damaged by flooding in the Eglinton area.

Yesterday evening, the Western Health Trust said the Altnagelvin Hospital in Drry had to temporarily close some sections of the emergency department, while events at the Foyle Maritime Festival on Saturday evening were cancelled for the health and safety of visitors and staff.

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