Derry flood meetings planned

A bathroom in a house damaged by flooding at Riverside Park, Drumahoe
A bathroom in a house damaged by flooding at Riverside Park, Drumahoe

A series of community-based meetings are to be held in Eglinton, Drumahoe and rural areas to offer continued support to those affected by the recent floods.

The decision was made following a multi-agency meeting held on Thursday facilitated by Derry City and Strabane District Council to get a concerted response to the recovery operation that has been ongoing since the floods last August.

It was acknowledged at the meeting that there remains a real need for practical and emotional support to those affected by the floods and that a series of community-led meetings was needed.

Council agreed that it would liaise with community representatives and statutory agencies to get the meetings set up. A Council spokesperson said: “The purpose of the meetings is to get an overview of how people in those areas are coping and to identify their needs and any additional support they require to get their lives back on track.

“As part of the meeting, representatives from the key agencies gave an update on their service’s recovery plans.

“They explained how over 650 bridges were inspected across the region and that work is progressing to carry out the remedial work identified, much of it minor in nature. They also outlined how 60 roads were closed at the height of the incident and that all, except 12, are now fully operational. They said work to get those roads reopened remained a key priority.”

The Housing Executive outlined that of the 94 homes affected, 19 were severely affected plus seven to a lesser extent. Three of these properties have been repaired and the families returned home this week. Eleven families have been rehoused in temporary mobile homes and the remainder are housed in temporary accommodation.

They explained how issues with the ongoing wet weather conditions have hampered efforts to get houses dried out, but that they remain fully committed to having the families back in their homes by Christmas.

The Council outlined how work is continuing to put into place a programme of repair on the 26 Council owned properties affected over the coming months, and that over 300 applications for the Emergency Flooding Assistance payment were processed.

Among the agencies represented at the meeting were the Met Office, PSNI, Fire & Rescue Service, DFI Roads, DFI Rivers, the Western Trust, Red Cross, DAERA, NIHE, NIE Networks, Education Authority and the Council.