Ballykelly residents hit by flooding hopeful of solution

Robin Glenn's flooded garden in Hyacinth Avenue, Ballykelly in June 2016
Robin Glenn's flooded garden in Hyacinth Avenue, Ballykelly in June 2016

A resident living in an area of Ballykelly repeatedly hit by flooding says he is hopeful officials are closer to finding a solution to prevent further incidents.

Hyacinth Avenue resident, Robin Glenn watched helplessly as his back garden was submerged in raw sewage during a thunderstorm on June 7. It wasn’t the first time his home had been hit by flooding, with previous incidents occurring as far back in 2010.

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has said officials are working on identifying a solution, but the model intended for use needs to pass engineering tests, and funding still has to be set aside.

Mr Hazzard said: “I have been advised that NI Water has completed its Ballykelly drainage area model to assist in determining the cause of the Hyacinth Avenue flooding issue.

“This model is being used to assess the current and future drainage needs of the Ballykelly area and to identify solutions.

“The implementation of a suitable solution to the flooding issue in Ballykelly will be subject to a viable engineering option and the necessary funding being available.”

The minster, responding to questions from DUP MLA George Robinson, also said: “I, along with NI Water, regret the distress and inconvenience experienced by residents of Hyacinth Avenue, Ballykelly, following flooding on Tuesday 7 June 2016, due to localised heavy rainfall.

“I have been advised by NI Water that a full clean up of the area was carried out following the flooding incident and that any claims which are received will be given urgent consideration.”

Robin Glenn said the news from the minister provides some comfort.

“I know money is tight, so I wouldn’t be too optimistic. It’s basically what we have been told before,” said Mr. Glenn.

“At least they’re making a wee bit of progress and, sure, any progress is good. If they could just the funds, but, as I say, at least that’s something and we appreciate the work that George (Robinson) has done.”