Foyle Road drain plans to address flooding due in late 2022 and 2023

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Two drainage plans that could identify the cause of regular flooding in the Brandywell and Foyle Road areas won’t be finished until late 2022 and the summer of 2023 respectively, it’s been confirmed.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon outlined the timeframe in a response to Foyle MLA Pádraig Delargy who has called for the problem to be addressed.

He said that people in the Foyle Road and Brandywell cannot ‘continue to live in fear of flooding with sandbags at the ready in their gardens’.

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In a written response to Mr. Delargy, the minister confirmed that following representation last year about surface water flooding, NI Water’s Wastewater Networks team carried out inspections of the storm and combined sewers in the Foyle Road area and found them to be operating properly. As recently as November 2021 the storm drain and combined sewers in the Letterkenny Road area were also inspected and found to be operating properly, the minister added. Ms. Mallon confirmed that work is ongoing on a number of local drainage plans which could help resolve the issue.

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“NI Water has advised that it will continue to work with stakeholders to maximise opportunities to manage flood risk,” she stated.

The minister said road gullies in the Foyle Road area were last cleaned on August 4, 2021 and that ‘it is therefore unlikely that blockages to gullies contributed to the flooding of this area’.

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She also referred to ongoing work to produce a Living With Water plan for Derry.

“On November 9, 2021, I launched the Living With Water in Belfast Plan, which seeks to revolutionise drainage and wastewater management with greener integrated solutions implemented alongside hard engineering infrastructure such as bigger pipes and flood defences.

“I want to see the Living With Water approach extended to Derry and have therefore asked my officials to commence work to develop a strategic drainage infrastructure plan for Derry, similar to the Belfast plan,” the minister said.

Upon receipt of this information Mr. Delargy commented: “The flooding in the Foyle Road area has been going on for years. My party colleague, Colr. Patricia Logue has been campaigning for remedial works so that residents do not have to live in fear of their homes being flooded with sandbags at the ready in their gardens.

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“There is also the impact on house insurance and the disruption it causes as this is a main arterial transport route into our city centre.

“I find the situation at Foyle Road intolerable, and residents have rightly been asking questions about what is getting done about it. I wrote to the Minister for Infrastructure seeking answers as to what measures her department is taking to resolve the problems there.”