AREAS of Clady are to be at a reduced risk of flooding following the commencement of a much-needed flood protection scheme in the village.
Worth £470,000, the scheme is targeted at dwellings in the Stephenstown area of Clady that fell victim to ‘Storm Desmond’ in December 2015.
Overall, two schemes worth a total of £600,000 were approved last year by the Department of Infrastructure.
According to DFI, work on the first phase of the scheme is set to be completed by summer 2018.
“This first phase of the scheme includes approximately 100 metres of new pipeline with associated outlet structure and flood protection to the rear of two properties on the Urney Road, expected to be completed by summer 2018,” a DFI spokesperson said.
“The second phase of the works includes 520 metres of earthen flood defence to the rear of additional properties on Urney Road. These works are programmed to commence late summer 2018 with completion by March 2019.”
In addition, work on a damaged flood defence wall damaged on the Donnygowan Burn in December 2015 is nearing completion.
Clady business owner, Marcus O’Neill, welcomed the news as something villagers have been campaigning for continually for years.
“It is great news, although we only wish it had came faster,” he said. “We have been meeting with the Loughs Agency and the Department of Infrastructure continually about these issues, and we can only hope it helps the problem.”
Following last August’s downpours, Mr O’Neill regards flooding as an issue that has had a devastating impact on Clady.
“We have had floods for years and it has always been worrying. With Clady sitting in a floodplain, floods in November 2016 and August last year had a devastating impact. At this stage we need security, not only to hold out water but also to give people time to get out if another flood hits. If a flood was to hit in the middle of the night, the result could be disastrous for people in their homes.
“While I welcome the DFI’s effort to mitigate flooding, in future I would like to see more consultation with villagers on the best places to target with flood defences. After all, it is us who know the lie of the land and can make more informed judgements than those in the offices.”