Action demanded after Cushendall swamped again by flash floods

27 JUNE 2012.. STEVEN MCAULEY/ KEVIN MCAULEY PHOTOGRAPHY MULTIMEDIA 07837137675...Severe flash floods hit Cushendall on Wednesday afternoon, 4 fire appliances pumped water from business premises and houses in the area of Mill Street and Shore Street.. Pic Steven McAuley/Kevin McAuley Photography Multimedia
27 JUNE 2012.. STEVEN MCAULEY/ KEVIN MCAULEY PHOTOGRAPHY MULTIMEDIA 07837137675...Severe flash floods hit Cushendall on Wednesday afternoon, 4 fire appliances pumped water from business premises and houses in the area of Mill Street and Shore Street.. Pic Steven McAuley/Kevin McAuley Photography Multimedia

A call for urgent action in Cushendall has been issued after the village was again swamped by flash floods yesterday.

Moyle SDLP Councillors Catherine McCambridge and Dónal Cunningham have urged DARD, Rivers Agency, and DRD Roads Service to act immediately to address the recurring flooding issue.

Torrential sudden rain saw Mill Street under several inches of water which poured into shops and businesses.

Traders and emergency personnel worked hard to minimise the damage.

Four fire appliances pumped water from business premises and houses in the area of Mill Street and Shore Street.

A heavy downpour battered large parts of Northern Ireland on Wednesday after a persistent wet spell.

Belfast was badly hit and worryingly more heavy rain is forecast.

A Met Office amber warning remains in place and there is a risk of further flooding later.

The SDLP representatives said: ““Since 2007 we have had various DRD and DARD Ministers coming to the Glens to talk to locals and to pose for photographs with their umbrellas and Wellington boots.

“Glens residents require action and both Departments have failed to provide it, people are fed up with empty promises and ineffective action.

“Every time it rains heavily, people in the Glens live in fear of flooding.

“It is simply not enough for DRD and DARD Ministers to meet with people and make empty promises. They must deliver.”

Cushendall restaurant owner Paddy McLaughlin told the BBC: ‘”Just about teatime the heavens opened, the water poured down and inside of about 20 minutes the drains just couldn’t take water.

“The whole street outside was flooded - there’ve been quite a number of businesses affected here in Mill Street.”

Last night police issued a warning for motorists to avoid the affected areas and only to travel if necessary as NI Water reported receiving 2,800 calls from the public.

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) said the high volume of calls meant its resources were stretched and urged the public to use the 999 emergency line only in life-threatening situations.

A NIFRS spokesman said: “While our resources are heavily committed we can assure the public that additional resources have been made available to support our operational response.”

A spokeswoman for NI Water said customers requiring information or who have been affected by flooding should contact 0300 2000 100. Any customer affected by out-of-sewer flooding should contact NI Water on 08457 44 00 88.