Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland flooding families face months away from home

Car submerged
Image caption The Fire and Rescue Service dealt with more than 700 flood-related call-outs in greater Belfast on Wednesday night.
Surfer rescues woman
Image caption The worst affected areas were in greater Belfast, but parts of counties Down and Antrim were also hit during the deluge
Flooded Ladas Drive, East Belfast
Image caption More than 3,000 sand bags were given out to those affected by the floods
Boy looks at flooded junction
Image caption A yellow warning, the lowest level of warning, advises the public to "be aware" of adverse weather conditions, while amber urges people to "be prepared"
Cyclist caught in flood
Image caption The highest level warning, red, means that action should be taken
People wade through flood water
Image caption It rained solidly for up to two hours in some areas
Woman pours out bucket of water
Image caption Households damaged by flood water will be eligible to apply for up to £1,000 of emergency money
Flooded classroom
Image caption Schools, businesses and public services were also affected by the deluge
Lagmore Heights flood aftermath
Image caption This black-top road at Lagmore Heights was left in knee-high mud in the flood's aftermath
Image caption Many motorists were forced to abandon their vehicles for their own safety
pa Twinbrook estate in Lisburn 015184807
Image caption Belfast City Council is co-ordinating the response to the crisis in the city and is operating a free flooding advice line
Worker clears mud from drain
Image caption The number is 0800 707 6965 and the council has inspectors on stand-by to respond as soon as possible

Some families whose homes were damaged in Wednesday's floods have been told by their insurance companies they face several months out of their properties.

Insurance assessors have been looking at damage after torrential rain sent water and sewage spilling into homes in parts of Northern Ireland.

In one Dunmurry street, 20 families were told they should move out while their homes are cleaned and assessed.

One resident said his house was uninhabitable.

"The family's going to have to seek alternative accommodation," said Paul Millar.

They did offer to source a hotel, but with three young children, that's not the most appropriate place to be living for an unspecified amount of time."

Northern Ireland Water said on Friday it had stood down its incident team established after the flooding, but its staff would remain on "high alert" over the weekend.

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has approved emergency funding for those affected by the flooding. Those affected will be eligible to apply for grants of up to £1,000.

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