Falling water levels in the River Bann should lead to an improvement in conditions, says DfI
and live on Freeview channel 276
Significant damage was caused was caused to many businesses and infrastructure after the river burst its banks on Tuesday during a period of heavy rainfall.
In an update today (Friday), Dfi says operational teams continue to work closely with multi agency partners in relation to ongoing flooding and are deploying resources effectively across a number of locations.
A department statement read: “Water levels in most areas are now starting to recede and recovery operations are well underway in Newry and other locations. River Bann levels are also falling and that should lead to an improvement in conditions in Portadown over the next couple of days. Lough Neagh is expected to peak over the weekend and is not likely to reach the levels experienced in the winter of 2015.
"However, water levels in watercourses remain stubbornly high in the Downpatrick area and this has had an impact on the viability of beginning planned pumping operations today.
"The department’s operational teams and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service met late last night to assess the situation further and plan what could be done. Preparation works ahead of the major pumping operation within this extremely challenging environment are underway and, as indicated on site with elected representatives and traders yesterday, efforts to remove flood water from Market Street will depend on how natural water levels recede and how effective our works today will be.
"Every effort is being made to begin pumping as soon as possible, as the Department and our multi agency partners are keen to do all that we can to reduce the impacts of the flooding in Downpatrick.
“We understand this is incredibly difficult for residents and businesses impacted and we appreciate their patience as we work with partners to manage the situation. We have already engaged with colleagues in local government and councils about the recovery stage and we will play our part in that in whatever way possible.”
The Scheme of Emergency Financial Assistance (SEFA) is available to homeowners who have encountered significant inconvenience due to flooding inside their homes, offering eligible applicants a £1,000 payment through their respective local councils.
Flooding, DfI noted, should be reported a soon as possible to the Flooding Incident Line on 0300 2000 100.
“If you have already reported with the Flooding Incident Line or if you need further assistance, please consider contacting your local council.”
Since Monday, October 30 there have been over 13,000 calls to the Flooding Incident Line and approximately 13,000 sandbags have been deployed to areas where rain intensity, high tides and saturated ground has caused the flooding.