R ESIDENTS left clearing up damage after last week’s flooding have blamed the road structure for causing streets to fill in minutes during heavy downpours. Great Northern Street, off the Lisburn Road, was swamped with floodwater last Wednesday evening, with residents stunned at the alarming speed the levels rose outside their homes.
Before long they were fighting against the tide, with water pouring into homes, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. Local residents spokesman John Copeland was one of the householders affected by the flooding, claiming the water rose so high it was flowing over garden walls.
He said the torrents, which also affected the nearby Lisburn Road causing traffic chaos, were the worst seen in the area, and called for the Department of Regional Development to look at ways of preventing such incidents in future.
“Everything in the ground floor of my home had had to be tossed,” he said.
“Carpets, furniture, even the skirting boards are destroyed as the flood water contained sewage. It’s devastating to see your home a foot deep in water.
“Outside was also terrifying, the water was so high it was spilling over the low garden walls. It all happened so quickly, and it looks like the speed ramps on the road outside our homes are actually helping to contain floodwater and hold it in the street.
“Roads Service are aware of our concerns about those ramps, but now they can see how they cause problems in heavy rain, especially in an area where the sewage system clearly can’t cope with large quantities of water like this.”
However, according to the DRD, measures have been taken to prevent the street flooding. A Roads Service spokeswoman told this paper: “Additional gullies were installed in Great Northern Street within the last two years.”
Meanwhile, local MP Alasdair McDonnell said after a meeting with the DRD Minister this week that a “co-ordinated” effort among all agencies responsible for preventing flooding was necessary.