Almost 500 homes reportedly damaged across Derry & Strabane

A bathroom in Mark Smith's house damaged by flooding at Riverside Park, Drumahoe. The house was swamped under five feet of water
A bathroom in Mark Smith's house damaged by flooding at Riverside Park, Drumahoe. The house was swamped under five feet of water

Almost 500 families across Derry & Strabane have reported damage to their homes resulting from the storms earlier this week.

Derry & Strabane Council has now urged anyone affected by the floods who has not yet registered to get their property inspected for the Emergency Payment Scheme to do so.

Those affected are entitled to emergency payments of up to £1000 and are asked to ring 028 71 253253, with lines having reopened at 8am today.

Hundreds of homes and businesses across the north west were badly damaged in the floods, with the Eglinton, Claudy, Drumahoe and Donemana among the areas worst affected.

A Council spokesperson said an extended team of technical officers from various Council departments have been working “around the clock” to deal with the high level of calls received over the past number of days.

“Up to 465 homes have been registered to date and over 40 environmental health and technical staff continue to work on the ground assessing properties and dealing with queries from the public,” she said.

The two Flooding Help Centres set up at the YMCA in Drumahoe and the Eglinton Community Centre remain open from 8 am to 10pm daily with representatives from various agencies in attendance to offer advice and assistance in terms of the supports that are available.

Council community service staff along with representatives from the Advice Services including Citizens Advice Bureau, Dove House and Carnhill Resource Centre will also be on site at the two centres to provide practical advice and support to the public.

Flooding advice leaflets are being circulated to local community centres and venues with contact numbers and useful advice for the public. Officers have also been on site at other locations across the Council area including Plumbridge and Castlederg to assess flood damage to properties there.

Residents are being advised that they can register for the Emergency Payment Scheme that is available to assist householders provides up to £1,000 to help make their home fit to live in, and reminded that it is subject to inspections by Council staff.

“It is important to note it is not a compensation scheme and that any compensation claims will have to be dealt with through householders and their insurance companies,” a council spokesperson said.

Skips are also being provided for residents with a cautionary note to the public that residents should ensure that an appropriate record is kept for any private insurance claims.

To facilitate the public the opening hours for the Recycling Centre at Eglinton have been extended and will now be open as follows - 8am – 8pm Monday – Friday (Friday 25th August – Friday 1st September) and 8am – 5pm Saturday (Saturday 26th August and Saturday 2nd September).

Services resumed as normal this morning at City of Derry Airport with the early morning London Stansted flight having departed.

This followed a major clean-up operation that took place throughout Wednesday and overnight into Thursday by Airport staff with the assistance of the Rivers Agency and the PSNI.

For updates on flight times please log on to the Airports Live Flight information section of their website at www.cityofderryairport.com

John Kelpie, Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Chief Executive said the collaborative approach between the statutory agencies, emergency services and support agencies is a pivotal part of the response to the unprecedented flooding that occurred across the City and District. Extending his thanks to all agencies for their help and support he said assisting those affected by the floods remains the Council’s key focus over the coming days and weeks.

He added that whilst no weather warnings are currently in place, bands of heavier showers are possible at times this morning, especially across Western and North Western parts of the region and that Council will be working closely with all agencies to monitor this as part of the ongoing rescue plan.

Additional information on flooding advice is available on the Council website at www.derrystrabane.com or alternatively at www.nidirect.gov.uk/what-to-do-if-a-flood-happens