29/06/2012

Flood-Hit Families Could Be Locked Out For Months

Some Northern Ireland families whose houses were damaged in this week's floods have been told they could have to spend months away from home.

Insurance companies have sent assessors to survey the damage and decide what to do next, after up to two hours of torrential rains on Wednesday night flooded streets and properties with water and sewage.

One man affected said he could not spend any more time in his house in its current condition.

Paul Millar said: "The family’s going to have to seek alternative accommodation. They did offer to source a hotel, but with three young children, that's not the most appropriate place to be living for an unspecified amount of time."

NI Water said it was on "high alert" and helping clean 158 properties with sewage flooding problems, in Orchardville Crescent, Lisavon Drive, Park Avenue, Larfield Manor, Moonstone Street, Lille Park and Sicily Park.

People affected by flooding can call 0300 2000 100.

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has approved grants of up to £1,000 for people in emergency situations.

South and east Belfast were among the worst-affected areas in Northern Ireland, and Belfast City Council said it would contact people who are eligible for hardship payment to arrange collection of cheques.

The council said it had inspected 900 flood-hit properties so far.

To find out if you are eligible for an emergency payment, call 0800 707 6965.

The council has already had 1,200 flood-related phone calls and delivered more than 4,000 sandbags across the city.

(NE)

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