Call for emergency payment to be triggered after heavy flooding

Stormont has been asked to activate an emergency payment scheme following flooding in the North West.

ix people were rescued after areas in Londonderry and Strabane suffered severe flooding.

Firefighters took nearly 50 flood-related emergency calls on Saturday.

The Met Office has issued a new yellow weather warning for rain, effective from 12pm to 9pm across Northern Ireland on Sunday.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said it received 106 flood-related emergency calls between 7pm on Saturday and 1.30am on Sunday.

Firefighters responded to 49 incidents.

One person was rescued from a vehicle in the water and five people were helped after being trapped in flooded properties.

Donegal County Council reported that heavy rain in east Inishowen had caused damage to roads and bridges in the area.

It warned of significant debris on the main Muff to Moville road and urged the public on Sunday morning to avoid driving in the area.

PSNI also urged motorists to exercise extreme caution on the roads in Derry and Strabane, adding that a number of routes are flooded and impassable.

Many people struggled to get hold of sandbags yesterday as floodwaters poured into their homes and are justifiably frustrated by what happened to themMark H Durkan

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan said it had been a “desperate and difficult night” for people battling flooding to protect their homes and property and those of their neighbors.

He said he had written to Stormont Township Minister Deirdre Hargey to ask her to urgently activate the emergency flood payment scheme to bring money to households.

“People from all of our districts showed tremendous community spirit yesterday and today and I want to thank them for that. From firefighters doing whatever it takes to save people and prevent property destruction, to people going out of their way to provide sandbags and support to their neighbors,” he said.

“We must now accelerate flood mitigation programs and there must be a rigorous review of flood preparedness.

“Many people struggled to get sandbags yesterday as floodwaters poured into their homes and are rightfully frustrated by what happened to them.

“Lessons must be learned quickly, but the most important thing remains to get immediate support for those dealing with the consequences of this.”

DUP Foyle MLA Gary Middleton said the heavy rain has had a “devastating effect” on many properties across the region.

He said several businesses were damaged by flooding in the Eglinton area.

On Saturday night, the Western Health Trust said that Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry had to temporarily close some areas of the emergency department, while events at the Foyle Maritime Festival on Saturday night were canceled due to concerns about the health and safety of visitors and staff. Call for emergency payment to be triggered after heavy flooding

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