Belfast flash floods cause chaos
Northern Ireland Water has responded to 22 flooding incidents following heavy rain across south Belfast, Dunmurry and Lisburn.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Sewers were overwhelmed during the flash-floods on Monday afternoon.
NIW said Sicily Park, off Belfast's Upper Lisburn Road, was closed for a time after water blocked the road.
Meanwhile in Lisburn there were reports of bad flooding in Ashmount Gardens, Wallace Park and Magheralave Road, and another incident at Greenfield Park in Newry.
The water company said it has dealt with eleven reports of blocked sewers and eleven reports of external flooding since 4pm on Monday afternoon.
Its staff and contractors have been working on the clean-up operation and trying to assist residents in the affected areas.
A spokesperson said: "All our sympathies are with the residents affected in what is clearly a distressing experience for everyone.
"Every effort was made to alleviate the flooding in the affected areas as quickly as possible and assist with the clean-up operation."
Local MLA Conall McDevitt, who was in Sicily Park during the flooding incident, said an outdated sewage network is to blame.
"It's the second time in under a week residents along this part of Finaghy have been subjected to flash flooding," the SDLP representative told UTV.
"It's a consequence of a water and sewage infrastructure that's really past its best and which is not able to cope with the increased number of homes and increase in water.
"We need to do something about it."
Meanwhile the Public Health Agency has issued a warning about the potential public health risks that can arise from flash-flooding.
"The risk of contracting illness is generally low," a statement said.
"However, as it is not always clear whether water is contaminated or not, the public are urged to exercise caution and assume that flood water is contaminated."
It added that other risks can relate to injuries caused by hidden dangers under the water such as missing manhole covers, or people falling into fast flowing waters.