Strabane: Flood scheme work set to begin next month

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Image source, BBC
Image caption,
Residents in the Ballycolman Estate said they felt hurt and forgotten about after severe flooding hit the area again

A temporary food alleviation scheme in Strabane will begin later this month, the infrastructure minister has said.

John O'Dowd described it as an interim solution to the recent flooding in the Ballycolman Estate.

The department has said it intends to redirect excess water away from homes in the area during flooding and direct it towards council-owned land instead.

Mr O'Dowd said this would "considerably reduce the risk of in-house flooding to properties".

It is understood 70mm of rain fell in the space of five hours on 23 July, overwhelming river banks and drainage systems.

Six people were rescued by emergency services and the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) said crews received more than 100 calls and responded to 49 incidents.

Image source, DfI
Image caption,
Infrastructure Minister John O'Dowd met with residents in the north west affected by flooding last month

Mr O'Dowd said he wrote to Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey seeking her department's approval in connection with a short term solution after meeting impacted residents.

"Minister Hargey granted my department and the council permission to facilitate access to the lands and this will allow progression of the works in advance of the formal completion of the legal agreement," Mr O'Dowd said

"My department is in a position to commence these construction works later this month."

Media caption,

Flooding: 'I could sit here and I could cry'

Mr O'Dowd said he recognised "the need to introduce viable longer term solutions as swiftly as possible to reduce the impacts of further flooding".

He said his department was also taking forward, where possible, a number of flood alleviation proposals in areas including Drumahoe, Eglinton and Londonerry.

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