Fed up Ballykelly pensioners plagued by flooding say “they’ve had enough”.
Hyacinth Avenue neighbours, Robin Glenn and Joy McGrory, watched helplessly as their back gardens were submerged during a thunderstorm on Tuesday.
Within minutes, Mr Glenn’s garden disappeared under several feet of sewage.
Robin Glenn said: “This is about the fifth time, and each time it gets worse. The smell is awful. It’s just pure, raw sewage. Something has to be done because we’ve had enough,”
“We’re at our wit’s end and NI Water say they’ve been working at it, but it’s no good, and then they say they have no money to solve the problem. I’m very angry. The whole sewage/drainage system needs re-vamped.”
Joy McGrory watched helplessly, as the garden she has spent thousands of pounds on landscaping, flooded
“The rain was torrential. It was right up to the back step,” said Joy. “I’m devastated.”
DUP councillor Alan Robinson said he has been lobbying for action on flooding at Hyacinth Avenue for the last five years, and has held four on-site meetings with NI Water and made countless phone calls.
NI Water say, alongside contractors, they conducted a clean-up and say they have investigated the “capacity issue within the local sewer network”, but say future work is dependant on funding being available.
NI Water say following previous flooding incidents at Hyacinth Avenue “investigative work has been undertaken into the capacity issue within the local sewer network”.
“A consultant has completed a drainage area network model of the area, which has been used to assess the current and future drainage needs of the Ballykelly area,” said a NI Water spokesperson.“The consultant’s report is currently being reviewed by NI Water. The implementation of a suitable solution to the flooding issue in Ballykelly is subject to the necessary funding being obtained. NI Water is grateful to our customers in the area for their patience during this time.”
NI Water say “any customer who believes they may be entitled to compensation can submit a claim to NI Water, at which point liability will be assessed”.
DUP Ald. Alan Robinson said: “Like clockwork it has now become an annual occurrence where summer deluges are met with out-of-sewer flooding for parts of Ballykelly village. However, the rain that fell on this occasion was unprecedented where the sewer system throughout the Roe Valley struggled to cope. Since the £400,000 NI Water works were carried out in 2008, which was supposed to reduce sewage flooding in the village, those works appear to have shifted the problem from one part of the village to another. We have written to the new Stormont infrastructure minister asking where a solution sits within a prioritisation process. Residents will agree that it should now be sitting very high on a priority list.”