Ulster Unionist MLA Michael McGimpsey has demanded the Executive take urgent action to alleviate perennial flooding problems in his South Belfast constituency.
Mr McGimpsey said:
“Once again the people of South Belfast are picking up the pieces following a short period of heavy rain. The Upper Malone Road, Upper Lisburn Road, Sicily Park and Milltown areas have been particularly badly affected, and Sandy Row also suffered some flood damage.
I have asked the Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy to meet with me in the morning so that I can take him to see the extent of the damage in the affected areas for himself.
Clearly a cross-departmental approach is required and I am calling upon the Executive to take steps to alleviate the perennial flooding which occurs in South Belfast following a short period of heavy rain.
Firstly, the relevant authorities such as the Water Service, Rivers Agency and Fire & Rescue Service must continue to provide a full emergency response to the flooding.
Secondly, I am calling upon the Executive to put in place the £1,000 award to each affected house as was the case during previous floods.
Thirdly, the Executive must treat South Belfast as an emergency case in the same way as Fermanagh was treated previously when it was badly affected by flooding.
The situation as it affects the people of South Belfast is absolutely intolerable. The Executive simply must find the money to ensure that the drainage system is upgraded so that local people are not living in fear of having their homes and businesses destroyed every time it rains.
Previous estimates have put the cost of the required works at £35 million and if that is the case then so be it. It will be money well spent.”