Councillor’s car was swamped in deluge

PACEMAKER BELFAST  06/12/2015 Flooding in Strabane at the weekend.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 06/12/2015 Flooding in Strabane at the weekend.

Local Ulster Unionist Councillor, Derek Hussey, whose own vehicle was disabled in the flooding on Saturday evening, has called on the authorities to offer full support to those many householders and businesses impacted by the unprecedented weekend flooding.

“This weekend many in our community have endured unprecedented levels of flooding and all of the relevant bodies found themselves overloaded with requests for assistance.

“Like myself, many of my fellow Councillors were passing numerous requests for assistance through to the various helplines with many also making direct contact themselves.

“Without doubt the various agencies and emergency services were stretched to the limit and beyond in their efforts to alleviate the difficulties that so many found themselves in,” he said.

Mr Hussey said communities have shown great strength of character and solidarity in remote and rural areas of the local district that were unable to respond.

This paper reported how officials had convened an emergency meeting to discuss the severe flooding in the Strabane area recently, which helped sweep away a section of parapet wall at Clady Bridge.

Three days later tumultous spatewater devastated Clady and other parts of West Tyrone again.

Mr Hussey, based in Castlederg, said people needed support.

“These efforts must be ongoing with added support forthcoming to those dozens of local householders and businesses struggling to recover from the devastation that they have faced particularly at this time of year. As the immediate emergency retreats the level of commitment must be retained to assist folk through what will be a long recovery.

“That said there have been concerns raised as to level of readiness including previously identified issues that local people were anxious for the relevant authorities to address in preparation for such levels of rain to alleviate the extensiveness of the flooding witnessed in places such as Clady, Castlederg, Strabane etc.

“I trust that all of those involved in dealing with the situation will be assessing how the emergency was dealt with in every effort to improve responses and to ensure identified problems are addressed.”

Alderman Hussey concluded by adding: “Whilst this past weekend’s rainfall was concentrated and unprecedented there is no guarantee that we may not face similar scenarios in the future.

“With this in mind I am urging the various authorities, who co-ordinate at such times, to learn from the issues that arose of late and to endeavour to do all that they can to alleviate the potential for a repeat of this past weekend with its dramatic impact on so many.

“Realising that not all situations can be predicted at least those which have been highlighted should be dealt with promptly.”