Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Monday, 18 August 2008 11:13 UK

Tractor rescues family from flood

Maghera flooding.
Fields were also flooded in Maghera

Two people have been rescued by a tractor after their home was flooded in this weekend's torrential downpour.

Paul Watters helped rescue his mother, 87 and brother, 67 on Saturday night when the River Moyola burst its banks near their home in Tobermore.

"A neighbour came with a tractor and we put a sofa on it, we got my mum and brother on there and took them out.

"Precious stuff was lost but, at the end of the day, my mum and my brother were safe," he added.

Nearly a month's rain fell in just a few hours on Saturday afternoon, causing rivers to burst their banks in counties Antrim, Down and Londonderry.

The Watters' family home was flooded when the river burst its banks over 300 yards away.

Mr Watters said he spent hours on Saturday night trying to stop water from getting into his mother's house.

"Water was rising up at the front door and as I was putting sandbags down, it was rising at the back door."

"It was up to seven or eight inches in the house," he said.

Environment Minister Sammy Wilson announced a compensation package for anyone whose home was affected but Mr Watters said that his mother's home was much more severely damaged.

"The house is totally flooded, a payment of 1,000 wouldn't touch it."

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