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Flood misery Castlewellan man feared losing everything

A Co Down man has told of the devastating impact of floods at his home and how they were fearful of losing everything.

Martin Sloane lives in small village of Annsborough, near Castlewellan and says they were badly impacted by three nights of constant rain fall.

It is one of the many areas across the province which has fell victim to the heavy rainfall which have caused rivers and loughs to swell.

Low-lying areas around sections of Lough Erne and Lough Neagh have been worst hit.

Mr Sloane lives in low lying ground and told how every morning they were fearful for what devastation they would wake up.

He told the BBC Stephen Nolan Show: "It has been mayhem.

"Three nights with constant rain. I know Northern Ireland was very badly affected, but speaking as a resident we are just a small village and how badly affected it is is terrible.

"Where we live along the main road it was terrible. It's been three hard nights on 28th December, 4th January and 6th January.

"Our backs have been up against the wall.

"We get up every morning to face what every person has faced in Northern Ireland that has been hit by the last few nights, it is hard."

Mr Sloane told how the water got to six inches at their front door and at the footpath it was as high as 18 inches of water.

He was fearful of a repeat of floods which devastated the area in 2008.

"We got flooded out in 2008 lost all our private possessions, our homes were completely lost", he said.

"To face what we faced then again, it is very hard to watch and to take."

But this time their belongings were not lost as Mr Sloane praised the dedication of local firemen.

He said: "I cannot praise those men enough. They stand out all through the night only for them they saved our homes three times.

"I cannot praise them men enough."

Local flood agencies, council and the housing executive will hold a meeting next week.

Mr Sloane added: "We feel like we are on our own here. We have a meeting next week. But it feels like it's nearly too late. It's very hard to watch and take."

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