Brokenshire asked for financial help for victims of North flooding

Almost 200 tonnes of waste removed as part of clean-up in Derry and Strabane

Damage to the main Derry to Moville road in Co Donegal caused by the force of a flooded river last month. Photograph: Brian Hutton/PA Wire

Damage to the main Derry to Moville road in Co Donegal caused by the force of a flooded river last month. Photograph: Brian Hutton/PA Wire

 

The Northern Ireland secretary of state is to be asked to intervene to help victims of last month’s flooding in the north west.

More than 500 homes were flooded and almost 60 roads were closed across the region after two-thirds of August’s rainfall fell in just eight hours.

Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) is to write to James Brokenshire and senior civil servants to ask for extra financial help to support businesses and community and voluntary organisations affected by the flooding.

So far the council has paid out more than £360,000 under the emergency fund scheme, which provides up to £1,000 for residential householders to make urgent flood repairs.

“The council has made a number of representations to senior officials at Stormont to get the Emergency Fund extended to include businesses,”a DCSDC spokeswoman said.

“In the absence of a working Assembly there is no mechanism in place to allow this to happen.”

At a council meeting on Friday night, councillors voted unanimously in favour of the proposal, and said that financial help had to be provided for businesses and charities which had suffered damage to property or facilities because of the flooding.

Almost 200 tonnes of waste has now been removed as part of the clean-up of flooded homes and businesses in the Derry and Strabane area.

More than 20 roads remain closed in Co Derry and Co Tyrone, mainly due to collapsed bridges or culverts, landslides, damaged road surfaces or debris .

The Department of Infrastructure is working to repair damaged bridges, but has warned that about 600 further bridges have still to be inspected for damage which might not be immediately visible.

“Given this number and the other ongoing road maintenance,remedial action and timescales for any planned works will take some time to complete and schedule.

The inspection of flood defences on main rivers has now been completed.

“In total, 1,735m of breaches have been identified and work has commenced to repair these breaches and assess the repair options, “ the spokesman said.