Page last updated at 21:29 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 22:29 UK

Flooding on Belfast streets again

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Heavy rain has caused flooding in south and east Belfast.

The Department for Regional Development has said complaints are being prioritised following flooding in Belfast.

There have been reports of flooding in the Carrington Street, Ravenhill Road and Newtownards Road areas.

There was also flooding at River Terrace, Ormeau Road, Loopland Drive, the Castlereagh Road and Tomb Street.

The department said staff had prioritised complaints and operatives were clearing those areas affected.

It said "no further heavy rain is forecast for this evening, but weather conditions will continue to be monitored throughout the night".

Earlier, East Belfast resident Amanda Hegarty said her kitchen had been flooded as a result of the heavy rainfall.

She said there had been "no warning" of the downpour.

"My son is very traumatised because it has happened for the last three years, it also happened on 31 August," she said.

"The wee boy came in today in a terrible state.

"The kids don't want to live here anymore, it's gone too far now."

Sewage

Karen Burns from Cooke Place in the Ormeau Road area of south Belfast said water containing raw sewage was approaching the top step of her property.

"The last time we flooded it came into our homes and my home was destroyed along with many others in the street, that was December last year," she said.

The SDLP's Alasdair McDonnell and the UUP's Michael Copeland visited streets in south and east Belfast affected by the flooding on Friday.

Mr Copeland said that in Carrington Street he had witnessed a "lake of sewage" in "exactly the same place as flooding had occurred previously".

He claimed there was "too much water in the sewers" and money needed to be spent to address the problem.

Mr McDonnell said a way had to be found to ensure rainwater was run into rivers as the sewers "overloaded".

"Despite all the money that has been spent we still have a dysfunctional sewage system in Belfast and where we have got rainwater into the sewers it just overloads them and they block up," he added.

Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey called for a full investigation into the flooding on the lower Ormeau Road.

In a statement, NI Water said that it had responded to "a number of flooding incidents at Carrington Street, Cooke Street, and several other areas of south and east Belfast" following heavy rain on Friday afternoon.

"NI Water staff and contractors were mobilised and are currently carrying out clean-up and disinfect operations to assist affected customers," the statement added.

"A NI Water incident management team was set up to co-ordinate our response efforts with other agencies on the ground.

"NI Water will continue to monitor the situation and respond to customers requests for assistance.

"All NI Water customer queries should be directed to Waterline on 08457 440088."



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SEE ALSO
Widespread chaos caused by floods
16 Aug 08 |  Northern Ireland
Met Office defends flood forecast
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