Action to stop future flooding

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An emergency sandbag storage unit has been installed at Glenburn/Highfield Road in Magherafelt following last summer’s flooding.

DUP Mid Ulster MLA Keith Buchanan and Magherafelt Councillor Paul McLean both welcomed the development.

A container has also been requested in the Cookstown area and this is to be progressed in the New Year.

Mr Buchanan and Cllr McLean said they have been working towards getting a storage unit at Glenburn/Highfield Road in order to “relieve pressure” in the event of future flooding.

“Residents in the area also need reassurance that the sandbags are there and accessible if needed,” said Mr Buchanan. “Sudden, unpredictable changes in weather can lead to flash flooding.

“Unexpected flooding events like this can cause havoc to homes and businesses and serious amounts of damage can occur very quickly.”

Glenburn/Highfield along with Westland Road/Rainey Street and Sandy Braes have been prone to flash flooding in recent times.

Last June the Meadowlane shopping centre was flooded at Moneymore Road.

At least nine businesses were flooded during a sudden downpour, which forced an evacuation of the centre. An underground car park became flooded before water poured through the doors into the shopping mall.

Most business owners worked through the night to get back up and running for trade the next day.

But the event brought demands for action to prevent future floods from engulfing the shopping complex.

Both politicians have since been working to have the drainage system upgraded on Moneymore and Westland Road.

It is understood that a report is due shortly from Rivers Agency regarding the drainage infrastructure in Magherafelt. It is hoped that this will provide some pointers as to how best to prevent the occurrence of flash floods in the town.

Mr Buchanan invited any residents in the Magherafelt area whose home or premises require emergency sandbags to get in contact with Mid Ulster Council, Cllr McLean or himself to see if they can be of assistance.