40 Derry homes flooded as close to monthly average rain falls in 5 hours

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has revealed that around 40 homes in Derry flooded on Saturday as 70mm of rain fell in just five hours, that’s just 19.53mm less than the monthly average rainfall for July. The monthly average rainfall for July in the north is 89.53mm.

By Daire Ní Chanáin
Monday, 25th July 2022, 1:34 pm

Residents in Derry reported that their homes flooded very quickly on Saturday evening and one resident in Ivy Mead said he was in bed asleep when a neighbour phoned to tell him his home was flooding while a woman in Eglinton had to be rescued from her home.

Commenting on the floods on Saturday, a DfI spokesperson said: “The Department was well prepared for this event. We were on a heightened state of alert with staff on standby, even though the weather warning was provided at short notice. This was a significant event and we were extremely busy with over 350 flood related calls and over 8000 sandbags were deployed. Multi-agency partners were on board with regular communication between all civil contingency partners. In terms of comparison to previous events, some 60-70mm of rain fell over an 8 to 9 hour period during the north west event in August 2017 which resulted in flooding to around 400 properties. Met Office have confirmed there was 70mm in five hours on Saturday evening 23 July 2022, which compares with the intensity of the 2017 event. This time though, it is estimated that around 40 properties may have flooded. As a result of the efforts by the Department through Saturday evening and into the early hours of Sunday morning, many homes were protected from flooding. As further weather warnings were in place for Sunday 24th July 2022 we remained on full alert and continued with maintenance of essential drainage infrastructure throughout the day.”

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Councillor Sandra Duffy visited the homes of some of those affected in the Ivy Mead and Eglinton areas on Sunday and said she was heartbroken to see the impact the floods had on their homes. Mayor Duffy acknowledged the prompt response from all partners and agencies as well as the community and voluntary sector. She paid tribute to all agencies, including Council’s Cleansing and Environmental Health team who were out on the ground assisting those whose homes or premises affected by the floods and she also acknowledged the important role played by local community resilience groups across the Council area who were helping local communities as part of the recovery response.

Some of the flooding in Derry as captured by reader Chris McMonagle.

The Mayor encouraged those whose premises have been affected by the floods to report the incident to the Flooding Helpline or to the Environmental Health Department at Council so they can be registered to avail of the Emergency Payment Scheme, currently available by the Department for Communities. Mayor Duffy said the fund can provide up to £1,000 to help make their home fit to live in following inspections by Council’s environmental health teams.

She said: “It is vitally important to note that anyone whose home is affected by the flood that they register this through the Flooding Helpline so they can be included in the scheme. Once their property is registered then an officer from Council’s Environmental Health team will carry out an assessment inspection of the damage under the scheme criteria.

“I saw for myself the extent of the devastation caused by this latest flooding incident. It is heartbreaking to see family homes and businesses impacted in this way. We need to do all we can to provide the support they need to restore their homes and to put mitigation measures in place to protect them from future incidences.”

The emergency numbers are as follows:

The Flood Helpline 0300 2000 100.

NI Water 0345 440 088

NI Housing Executive 03448 920 901

NI Electricity Networks 0345 643643

Part of the Rock Road has been lifted by the heavy rainfall on Saturday.

NI Gas emergency service 0800 002 001

Report a Blocked road 0300 200 7891