A Sinn Féin delegation has met with the Rivers Agency to discuss measures to protect Newcastle from flooding.
South Down MLA Emma Rogan said:
“In August, we witnessed the worst incidence of flooding in many years in Newcastle town and the surrounding areas.
“Homes and businesses were ruined as consequence.
“Myself and the MP for South Down Chris Hazzard met with the Rivers Agency to discuss how we can prevent this destruction from occurring again.
“Sinn Féin welcome that a community resilience task group is to be established within the Newcastle area. This group will work to prepare for weather warnings and prevent future flooding.
“The Rivers Agency has also agreed to work with Sinn Féin representatives to identify a site in Newcastle to store sandbags for easy accessibility.
“While these are welcome announcements, the implementation of a flood alleviation scheme is the only way to guarantee maximum protection for the community in Newcastle from flooding in the future.
Chris Hazzard MP said:
“It is worth reiterating once again the local community’s appreciation for the support that Rivers Agency workers provided to residents in Newcastle.
“It was good today to discuss the forthcoming flood alleviation scheme and I was delighted to hear the scheme will include design features that will mitigate the danger of fallen trees and other debris in the Shimna River.
“Creative solutions such as totem poles in the river bed will not only meet the engineering needs of the scheme, but given the ecological diversity of the water course and adjacent woodland, they will also be suitably sensitive to the needs of the local environment.”