Belfast Telegraph

Flash-flooding in Co Antrim: £1,000 relief payment announced for householders

Dozens of householders affected by flash flooding in Co Antrim have been offered relief payments of £1,000, the Environment Minister has announced.

A number of homes were hit by flooding in the Toome Road and Galgorm Road areas of Ballymena, as drains struggled to cope with severe downpours on Sunday evening.

Now, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has announced £1,000 payments as an "offer of practical assistance to those who have suffered severe inconvenience".

"If you feel that you may be entitled to the payment, contact Ballymena Borough Council as soon as possible and they will arrange for an urgent inspection of your property," he said.

"If the council decides that your claim is eligible, you will receive your payment within a matter of days.

“In addition, your council can also offer a range of practical help and guidance, including collection, retention and disposal of damaged household contents, assistance with arrangements to clean up your home and garden, and also by providing de-humidifiers to dry out affected homes.

“My Department will reimburse Ballymena Borough Council for the £1,000 payments to individual householders and for the direct and indirect costs of providing practical assistance and advice.

Householders were also hit between Ahoghill and Randalstown.

Meanwhile, a second severe weather warning for heavy rain  has been issued in less than a week - mainly affecting parts of England.

Forecasters predicted scattered but potentially intense thundery downpours likely to develop from midday in areas of England.

The Met Office said the downpours could bring a risk of surface water flooding and there could be hail and gusting winds adding to difficulties in some areas. Around 20mm (0.8ins) of rain is predicted to fall in an hour in some areas.

A yellow "be aware" weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for Yorkshire and Humber, the East and West Midlands, the East of England and London and south east England. The warnings, in force until 8pm tonight, mean there is a moderate risk of some damage to infrastructure and local disruption.

A Met Office spokeswoman stressed that the majority of areas would see less than 20mm rainfall.

"It is not going to be uniform, we are looking at thundery showers within that area. Some places will get lighter rain and not see any thunder or hail," she said.

"What we are getting is fairly typical weather for early summer. From midweek onwards we are looking at sunny spells and fairly dry for most of the country with generally dry, cloudy conditions in the West.

"It is a mixture of sunshine and patchy cloud. There will be a little rainfall here and there but it will be fairly dry for the rest of the week."

Temperatures will be slightly lower than at the weekend with a highest temperatures predicted of 19C for Leeds, 19/20C for Southampton, 16/17C for Plymouth and 20/21C for Bristol. St James's Park and Kew in London are forecast to register temperatures as high as 24C. This compares to a high yesterday of 25.4C for Gravesend in Kent.

The fresh storm prediction comes after the Met Office issued a severe weather warning last week for Saturday with forecasts of heavy, thundery rain battering parts of England, Wales and southern Scotland.

But fears that some places could see flooding and an entire month's rainfall in just one hour turned out to be misplaced, with Britain spared the worst as the summer storms swept the country.

The heaviest downpour was registered in Santon Downham, Suffolk, which saw 0.7in (18.2mm) fall in one hour, followed by 0.6in (16.4mm) falling in Bickley, Worcestershire.

It fell well short of the 1.2in (30mm) - almost half of the UK monthly average for the whole of June of 2.9in (73.4mm) - which had been forecast as a possibility.

Last month the Shard in London - western Europe's tallest building - was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm.

A landmark study by the Met Office and Newcastle University published earlier this week warned that climate change could result in heavier summer rainfall in Britain, which in turn could increase the risk of flash flooding.

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