Residents appeal for proper drainage

MLA Danny Kinahan discusses flooding issues with Ballyclare resident Gloria Mitchell. INNT 27-609con
MLA Danny Kinahan discusses flooding issues with Ballyclare resident Gloria Mitchell. INNT 27-609con
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BALLYCLARE residents have urged the roads and water services to examine drainage issues close to their Doagh Road homes.

The move comes after homeowners were again forced to battle the elements to prevent flooding in their homes on Wednesday evening (June 27).

A Doagh Road resident in Ballyclare battles against the rain to protect her home. Picture by Trevor McCusker

A Doagh Road resident in Ballyclare battles against the rain to protect her home. Picture by Trevor McCusker

Residents told the Times they worked on protecting their homes from torrential downpurs into the early hours of Thursday morning (June 28) and so were fortunate not to be faced with a major clean-up operation.

Last October however, it was a different story when the same homes were flooded after two nights of heavy rainfall and residents faced huge repair bills.

Gloria Mitchell was badly affected last year and said Wednesday evening’s deluge brought back terrible memories.

She said: “We were up most of the night just trying to make sure the water did not get in. And even when we thought the worst was over, I could not sleep for the fear the downstairs may be flooded by the morning.”

Gloria believes a nearby housing development may be to blame for the flooding.

“After the last time I spent extra money on tiling the house to help protect it from flooding again,” she said.

“But after that last time there has not been much done to stop it again other than the drains being cleared regularly - but that’s not the problem. There needs to be more drains put in.

“In 10 years of living here there was never any flooding until last year. But when they built the Fairview housing development they did not put in place the proper drainage and because my house is directly down from it I have to suffer.”

Local MLA Danny Kinahan visited the area on Thursday morning (June 28) to see the problem himself.

He said: “We have to work in the short term to ensure everyone has sandbags to stop their homes from flooding and they have access to an emergency support line.

“And in the long term we have to work to stop this happening altogether. There has to be an acceptance that our climate is changing and we have to be able to cope with sudden big changes.

“Already there is talk that Wednesday’s rainfall was a ‘one in one hundred years’ occurrence. Well that would make it the fourth in five years.”

Meanwhile, Environment Minister Alex Attwood has urged those affected by recent flooding to contact Newtownabbey Borough Council for emergency financial assistance. For further information call 0300 2000 100.