Northern Ireland

Belfast homes flooded after heavy rain

Traffic is moving slowly on Finaghy Road North in Belfast due to heavy rain Image copyright Steve Reid
Image caption Transport NI responded to 138 incidents as a result of the weather

Almost 30 homes were flooded in Belfast on Thursday, the minister for regional development has said.

Properties across the city experienced "internal flooding" following the heavy rain. Transport NI responded to 138 incidents as a result of the weather.

Disinfectant clean-up operations have been carried out where sewage flooding occurred.

Emergency payments are being made available to people whose homes have been damaged.

'Raw sewage'

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said householders affected by flooding could claim payments "to ensure that homes are made habitable as quickly as possible".

Those who have suffered "severe inconvenience" can claim £1,000 as an offer of "practical assistance".

Image copyright Twitter: Arsenewengered
Image caption There was flooding on the Whiterock Road in west Belfast

Several houses on Moonstone Street, off the Lisburn Road, were flooded, with raw sewage coming in through drains.

Firefighters were involved in pumping water to prevent it from entering homes in the Sicily Park and Lille Park areas.

Drains were also cleared in Maryville Park and Upper Malone.

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Media captionMary Young says the fire brigade had to pump water away from her house after it was flooded

One resident in Sicily Park told the BBC she was shocked that the flooding was still an annual occurence.

"Despite promises that things will be sorted and fixed, nothing has been happened," she said.

'Unacceptable'

"When something like this happens, you're just petrified you are going to be put out of your home, or you are going to lose your possessions."

Another resident said before he bought his house over a year ago, he was promised flooding would be resolved and strategies would be put in place.

Image copyright Kerry Devlin
Image caption Many motorists at Kingsway, Dunmurry, were in deep water

Mr Durkan said it was not acceptable that families had to put up with flooding "again and again".

"It's imperative that we have proper mitigation measures and proper flood adaptation measures in place to minimise the damage and distress this type of event causes," he added

NI Water said downpours overwhelmed road, river and sewerage drainage systems which in turn caused flooding to "some land and property".

"Where blocked sewers contributed to flooding, NI Water has cleared these and will follow up with CCTV investigations if necessary," a spokeswoman said.

Image copyright Twitter: Pictureskew
Image caption Motorists battled through the rain on the Stewartstown Road, Dunmurry

"NI Water staff attended individual properties and carried out clean-up and disinfectant operations where out of sewer flooding occurred."

The Glenmachan project, part of the South Belfast flood alleviation scheme, is due to begin in 2015.

The flooding helpline is 0300 2000 100 and is available 24 hours a day.

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