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Derry residents are living in constant fear of flooding and need support, Foyle MLA warns

Derry residents are living in constant fear of flooding and need support, Foyle MLA warns

The lack of assurances about the installation of better flood defences has left people living with the fear of flooding.

Residents on the Foyle Road -which is a main route between Derry and Co Donegal, endured further disruption this week (May 16) following heavy rain and thunderstorms.

MyDerry asked Northern Ireland Water and the Department for Infrastructure when the solution would be addressed, however, no timescale was outlined.

The DfI said that flooding this week was associated with high tides in the River Foyle and that cleaning of gullies on the road had already been carried out this year.

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A DfI spokesperson said: “The flooding on the Foyle Road is associated with high tides in the River Foyle. When there is a high tide combined with heavy rain the main drainage systems cannot empty into the Foyle resulting in flooding in this low lying area.

“The gullies in the Foyle Road were last cleaned in February 2022.

“Therefore the recent flooding of this area is unlikely to be a result of blocked gullies.”

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland Water said that a programme currently looking at solving flooding in the Belfast area would potentially solve similar issues in Derry.

However, the water authority did not commit to a date that the programme would take effect in the city.

The scheme is led by DfI LWWP and involves DfI Rivers, DfI Roads and NI Water.

A NI Water spokesperson said: “During an extreme rainfall event on 16 May, surface water run-off from nearby roads and streets along with a spill from an overwhelmed manhole caused some flooding on Foyle Road.

“All NI Water networks worked to their full capacity to help drain the area.

“The Living with Water Programme (LWWP) currently being progressed to deal with flooding and future capacity in Belfast has commenced to look towards similar solutions to deal with flooding and capacity in Derry/Londonderry.

“This programme is led by DfI LWWP and involves DfI Rivers, DfI Roads and NI Water working together with the council and other agencies to identify innovative solutions for dealing with storm water.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Pádraig Delargy told MyDerry that solutions needed to be found to deal with the flooding issues.

The Foyle representative said: “Once again, flooding along the Foyle Road has caused huge anxiety for residents and for drivers who use this main road in and out of Derry.

“This is unacceptable and it needs addressed urgently.

“Residents can’t continue to live in worry about the next time there is heavy rain and depend on sandbags to protect their homes.

“Solutions must be found and we will continue to work with Road Service and NI Water to ensure this issue is dealt with and the burden is removed from residents.”

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