Payment for Ballymena flooding victims

Payment for Ballymena flooding victims

An emergency payment of £1,000 has been made available for those affected by flooding in Ballymena.

A number of homes were damaged in the Co Antrim town following heavy rain on Sunday night, with around a foot of rain recorded in just a couple of hours.The deluge was particularly bad in the Toome Road and Galgorm Road areas.Those living there tried in vain to stop the water reaching their homes as drains on the road struggled to cope with the rain.According to residents, the area has flooded five times in the last six years.Gareth McDowell, who lives on the Toome Road, arrived home to find his home in a mess."The house was flooded under an inch of water, and the garage is completely wrecked. The oil tank is completely lifted off the ground," he said."I've had to take the day off work to come home and sort it out."Individual householders in these areas will be offered the payment for practical assistance to those who have suffered severe inconvenience, to ensure homes are made habitable as quickly as possible as part of the emergency scheme.Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said that Ballymena Borough Council can also offer a range of practical help with clean-up as well as providing de-humidifiers."I and my Executive colleagues want to help those most severely affected to get back to normal as quickly as possible and to assist them in ensuring their homes are habitable," he said."Working with and through councils, my aim is to ensure that practical and financial help is delivered to those most in need as early as possible. I would also urge people to keep an eye out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours. "David Porter from The Rivers Agency says there will be a full investigation into what happened."We had a very, very heavy rainstorm - it dumped a significant amount rain on the local area and that overwhelmed the drainage system," he said."There will be an investigation into what has actually occurred and to see whether any of the drainage infrastructure needs upgraded."But we would also ask people in that area to be very aware of flooding, to look at the flood maps that we have available, and to plan for this eventuality happening again because flooding is a natural event and by being aware of it, we can minimise the impact."


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