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Flood misery Castlewellan man feared losing everything

Published 08/01/2016

Flood devastation in Castlewellan. Pic: BBC Stephen Nolan Show
Flood devastation in Castlewellan. Pic: BBC Stephen Nolan Show
Flood devastation in Castlewellan. Pic: BBC Stephen Nolan Show
Flood devastation in Castlewellan. Pic: BBC Stephen Nolan Show
Flood devastation in Castlewellan. Pic: BBC Stephen Nolan Show

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."

Soldiers from 2 LANCS rest for a few minutes awaiting the next task as the British Army assists the Environment Agency with the Christmas floods (Ministry of Defence/PA)
Soldiers from 2 LANCS rest for a few minutes awaiting the next task as the British Army assists the Environment Agency with the Christmas floods (Ministry of Defence/PA)
A Christmas wreath hangs on the door of a house on a flooded residential street next to the River Foss, after it burst it's banks in York, northern England, on December 28, 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the flood-hit historic city of York on Monday as cities, towns and villages across northern England battled to get back on their feet following devastating storms. Around 500 properties were flooded in York, one of Britain's top tourist attractions, on Sunday as two rivers burst their banks. Some residential streets became so inundated that cars were covered up to their roofs. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Furniture is seen piled high in the window of a house on a flooded residential street next to the River Foss, after it burst it's banks in York, northern England, on December 28, 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the flood-hit historic city of York on Monday as cities, towns and villages across northern England battled to get back on their feet following devastating storms. Around 500 properties were flooded in York, one of Britain's top tourist attractions, on Sunday as two rivers burst their banks. Some residential streets became so inundated that cars were covered up to their roofs. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A flooded residential street is pictured next to the River Foss after it burst it's banks in York, northern England, on December 28, 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the flood-hit historic city of York on Monday as cities, towns and villages across northern England battled to get back on their feet following devastating storms. Around 500 properties were flooded in York, one of Britain's top tourist attractions, on Sunday as two rivers burst their banks. Some residential streets became so inundated that cars were covered up to their roofs. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A submerged car is pictured on a residential road next to the River Foss after it burst it's banks in York, northern England, on December 28, 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the flood-hit historic city of York on Monday as cities, towns and villages across northern England battled to get back on their feet following devastating storms. Around 500 properties were flooded in York, one of Britain's top tourist attractions, on Sunday as two rivers burst their banks. Some residential streets became so inundated that cars were covered up to their roofs. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A man on a bicycle turns back from a flooded residential street next to the River Foss after it burst it's banks in York, northern England, on December 28, 2015. British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the flood-hit historic city of York on Monday as cities, towns and villages across northern England battled to get back on their feet following devastating storms. Around 500 properties were flooded in York, one of Britain's top tourist attractions, on Sunday as two rivers burst their banks. Some residential streets became so inundated that cars were covered up to their roofs. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Businesses continue the clean up in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire after the weekend's flooding.
People being rescued by soldiers and emergency services in York city centre
Flooded riverside properties in Kings Street, York, as swamped towns and cities continue to struggle against the Christmas floods.
Businesses continue the clean up in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire after the weekend's flooding.
The River Irwell
The Army assists the Environment Agency as swamped towns and cities continue to struggle against the Christmas floods (Ministry of Defence/PA)
Flood water by a bridge in Cawood, between York and Selby
Labour MP Simon Danczuk, whose Rochdale constituency has been hit by flooding, said money should be spent in the UK rather than overseas
Insurance companies say they are visiting areas hit by floods
A man wades through flood waters at Hebden Bridge, where flood sirens were sounded after torrential downpours
A flooded railway line at Kirkstall, Leeds
Sandbags are placed on top of the flood defences along the River Ouse in York city centre
Rescue teams in Whalley, Lancashire, after the area was hit by downpours
Soldiers helping to set up flood defences in Appleby as the Army was called in to help protect flood-hit areas of Cumbria (Ministry of Defence/PA)
The River Ouse in York, where riverside properties have been flooded again.

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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