August 26, 2020
Serious questions remain over Storm Francis flooding preparations – Boylan

Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan has said serious questions remain over the lack of preparation for severe flooding which caused widespread damage to homes.

The Newry and Armagh MLA stated:

“Storm Francis has caused great stress and worry as floods have affected numerous communities across the north, with some people needing to evacuate from their homes.

“There have been concerns regarding the level of preparation the Department for Infrastructure had in place to mitigate the storm as they knew adverse weather was incoming.  

“It’s my understanding that in Newcastle, there were difficulties in accessing sandbags and that gullies and drains weren’t cleared in advance of the storm.

“What’s most concerning is reports coming from local residents that they had been reporting debris and trees in the Shimna River to DFI Rivers in the days leading up to the storm, but it wasn’t cleared.

“Sinn Féin have written to the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon calling for this issue to be urgently addressed. The Minister should put in place a financial support scheme to assist homeowners at this difficult time.

“Sinn Féin will continue to work on the ground, in the Assembly and within councils to ensure maximum support for those impacted by Storm Francis.”

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