Flooding fears due to high levels of Lough Neagh
This week’s Lough Neagh was at a very high level , says businessman Paul Quinn - the highest since the south shore flooded four years ago causing extensive damage.
Owner of South Shore Marine at Kinnego Marina, Mr Quinn said the Department for Infrastructure should be lowering the lough in late October/early November ahead of storms and heavy rainfall.
“Last Tuesday night it was at a critical level and the water was lapping at the walls of the building,” said a concerned Mr Quinn.
He said that while the flood gates at Toome are fully open that doesn’t help the levels of the lough if the gates at Kilrea/Portna are closed.
“We checked those gates and both were closed. The number three gates has stop blocks on it so it can’t be opened and it has been like that for at least a year. They (DfI) say they have no money to fix it.
“As for number four gate, I have no idea why it is not open,” said Mr Quinn.
“Lough Beg has been full for months and I know when Lough Neagh is full as I work and live on the water’s edge.” said Mr Quinn.
SDLP Cllr Declan McAlinden said: “As the levels of the Lough Neagh rise Department for Infrastructure ( Rivers Agency) have installed flood barriers to prevent the local businesses from being flooded similar to 2016.
“I’ve been in touch with Environmental Health today (Wednesday) to raise concerns and also to get assurances that the flood gates in Toome and Kilrea are lowered adequately to prevent another disaster!
“A repeat of 2016 cannot and must not happen,” said Cllr McAlinden.