More than 20 roads remain closed in Derry and Tyrone following floods
Almost 600 requests for assistance have been made by householders after last week’s floods
Damage to the main Derry to Moville road in Co Donegal caused by the force of a flooded river last week. Photograph: Brian Hutton/PA Wire
Almost 600 requests for assistance have been made by householders in the Derry area following last week’s devastating floods.
Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) estimates that at least 492 residential properties have been flooded in the council area.
It is believed that there are still some flooded properties which have not been registered.
DCSDC has appealed to anyone who has not yet registered a flooded home to do so as soon as possible so that they can apply to the emergency fund for money to cover essential repairs.
More than £270,000 (€290,627) has already been paid out, and DCSDC says it expects to approve a further £50,000 (€53,816) in the next few days.
Environmental health officers have visited 98 per cent of registered homes to carry out an assessment so that funds can be released to homeowners.
Repairs are continuing to the road network in counties Derry and Tyrone, where more than 20 roads remain closed, mainly in the Claudy and Drumahoe areas of Derry, and the Greencastle and Plumbridge areas of Tyrone.
A bridge has collapsed on the Iniscarn Road outside Desertmartin in Co Derry.
The road has been closed in both directions, and local diversions are in place.
It is not yet clear whether the collapse is due to last week’s floods.
“The extent of the damage will require full assessment by departmental bridge engineers,” a spokesman from the Department of Infrastructure said.
“This will be undertaken as soon as practical. The Department would ask all road users to adhere to road signs and any diversions to avoid roads affected by recent flooding, and to take care driving.”
Church Road in Claudy, Co Derry, remains closed after the Ballynamee Bridge collapsed during the height of the flooding.
Northern Ireland Water hopes to resume taking water from the Faughan on Tuesday after the river - which supplies drinking water to Derry city - burst its banks and flooded parts of an illegal “super-dump” at Mobuoy Road, believed to contain at least half a million tonnes of commercial and domestic waste.
A pumping station at the River Faughan was also flooded, and intake pumps were damaged.
Both Northern Ireland Water and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency have been independently monitoring the safety of the Faughan water, and have been walking the river banks and the landfill site since it was flooded.
Northern Ireland Water says it has detected no impact on water quality.
“Any water which may have come into contact with the old landfill site and washed back into the river during the flooding will have moved very quickly downriver,” a spokeswoman from the company said.
“Northern Ireland Water has increased monitoring in order to ensure that water can safely be taken from the river through the new intake pumps.”
Flooding help centres in the worst affected areas, Drumahoe and Eglinton in Co Derry, remain open and are staffed by a number of statutory agencies which are offering help with cleaning out homes as well as advice on insurance claims, reconnecting water and electricity and information on entitlements and benefits.
Clothes, food, bedding, blankets and bottled water is also available, as is emotional support and a listening ear service provided by the Western Health and Social Care Trust and the Red Cross.
The mayor of Derry and Strabane, Cllr Maolíosa McHugh, who has visited some of the homes directly affected by the floods, praised the efforts of those involved in the rescue and recovery operation.
“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of council staff in particular, staff from the statutory and voluntary agencies as well as the many volunteers who have been working tirelessly these past five days to do what they can to assist the people directly affected.
“The community have really rallied around and we hope that level of support will continue in the days and weeks to come as the scale of the incident comes to light and people work to rebuild their lives,” he said.