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Weather havoc: floods leave Ulster families homeless at Christmas

By Donna Deeney

Published 16/12/2011

Catherine Ferguson whose home at Bealaghmor was flooded
Catherine Ferguson whose home at Bealaghmor was flooded
Sand covers the floor of a house after the flooding at Bealaghmor
Catherine Ferguson whose home at Bealaghmor was flooded in the Ballymagroarty area
Catherine Ferguson whose home at Bealaghmor was flooded in the Ballymagroarty area
Sand covers the floor of a house after the flooding at Bealaghmor
The cleanup operation has started after the flooding at Bealaghmor
One of the gardens which was destroyed after the flooding at Bealaghmor
Sand covers the floor of a house after the flooding at Bealaghmor
An oil tank lies on its side after the flooding at Bealaghmor
The scene at Marlborough Terrace in Londonderry where two cars and a van were crushed after a wall collapsed
The scene at Marlborough Terrace in Londonderry where two cars and a van were crushed after a wall collapsed
The scene at Marlborough Terrace in Londonderry where two cars and a van were crushed after a wall collapsed
A rugby pitch at the YMCA, Drumahoe, outside Derry, which was under several feet of water
Raymond Beattie who had to escape through a bathroom window after his house was flooded at Bealaghmor in Ballymagroarty
A snow plough on the main Glenshane Road between Derry and Belfast
Water pours into the garden of a house in Bealaghmor in the Ballymagroarty area of Derry
The Ballymagroarty area of Derry where several homes were flooded
A brave surfer rides a 67-foot wave at Bundoran in Donegal yesterday, it was the biggest wave ever to hit Irish shores, recorded by a buoy 60 miles out to sea
Samson and Goliath gantry cranes in Harland & Wolff shipyard, Belfast as seen from the Castlereagh Hills
Horses on the Castlereagh Hills
Horses on the Castlereagh Hills
The City Hospital in Belfast as seen from the Castlereagh Hills
Jackie Kelly
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 5th December 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. As Winter sets in snow hits parts of Northern Ireland. The view over Belfast from the Castlereagh Hills.
Readers' Winter Pictures Gallery Frosty Fermanagh. Submitted by Rachel, Fermanagh
Christmas day 2010. Submitted by Sara Orr ,Gibbs Island Strangford
Winter in western Canada. Submitted by Al
Belvoir park forest Belfast. Submitted by Clare Harvey
Belvoir park Xmas 2010. Submitted by Clare Harvey
Church of Ireland. Submitted by Steven Junk Newmills
Lasting Impression. Submitted by Tom, Dunmurry
Jay - King of Scrabo... submitted by Andrew Gison - Scrabo Tower
The carry harryville. Submitted by Hugh Blackadder Ballymena
Jordan's igloo, Bangor
No fish today!! Woodford Fishing Lake
Cushendun winter Wonderland. Submitted by Seammus Fyfe Cushendun
Robin redbreast. Submitted by Paul Hunter, Belfast
Coleraine Council's Jetty on the River Bann
Images from Belfast Telegraph Readers' Winter Pictures Gallery
Tullylish tower. Submitted by David Berry
Emily, Jack, Ryan & Alex enjoying snow in Hillsborough Sat 8 January 2011. Submitted by Henderson family
The last rays of sunset
Siw mile Water Park,Gordon Esler, Ballyclare . Co Antrim
Frozen river bann at coleraine marina. Submitted by Avril Law
Lady, Taken at Navan Fort. Submitted by Malachy McCreesh Navan Fort
Lagan thaw bursts banks & throws ice onto path by Philip McErlean, Belfast
Fancy a bath? Submitted by Diane, Lisburn
Readers Pics
Wallace Park, Lisburn by Tom Kirk Perth W.Australia
Stramore Road, Gilford by P Briggs
River Bann, Stramore Rd. Gilford by P briggs
Cave Hill Walk, by Tom Kirk Perth W.Australia
A Narnian Winter at Portavo ... by Hannah, Groomsport
Dalene Young's snaps taken around Tobermore
Dalene Young's snaps taken around Tobermore
Dalene Young's snaps taken around Tobermore
Northern Irish Global Warming - Mark Barfoot, Antrim, Lough Neagh
My two dogs in the snow - Paulo Ross, Ardglass, County Down
Ulsterbus Leyland Leopard 4107 at its new home in the Isle of Man. Richard Davis - Isle of Man
Killian and Odhran Maguire enjoying the view at this water fall in Boho - Barry Maguire Enniskillen
Empty fields - Stanley Mathers, Bready
Dromore Cathedral and the River Lagan on Christmas Eve - Scott Mackey - Dromore
Donaghadee Water Tower Sostice evening ... by Avril
Anchored ... by Joan Wilson
Xmas ball ... by Reymos in Belfast
White wedding @ Newforge House, Magheralin ... by Jenny Pearson, Markethill
Pickie Fun Park Bangor ... by Nicolas Soitout
Path at the old railway line in Donaghadee ... by Aidan Ferguson
Ormeau Embankment 22 Dec 2010 .. Philip McErlean, Belfast
Mussaden snow ... by Campbell Allen Bready
Lagan freezing ... by Philip McErlean, Belfast
Farmhouse ... Brian Portadown
Coastal Road Bangor ... Nicolas Soitout, Bangor
Blue Tit Preparing for the Big Freeze.... by Laura Rose McBride, Banbridge
Winter in Belvoir at sunset - James McCartney, Belfast
View to Ormeau Bridge, 22 Dec 2010 .. Philip McErlean, Belfast
Spiders Web @ Ballypalady Rd, Doagh, Co Antrim - Submitted By Simon Brown
Sunset - Jeremy Clifford Craigavon
Stephen Ryan snowboarding in the Mournes - by Simon Lennon
These roads are very slippy!!! - Longshot Rd, Doagh, Co Antrim - Submitted By Simon Brown
Northern Irish Global Warming - Mark Barfoot, Antrim, Lough Neagh
river scene near the Marina in Cole
George - wide eyed and bushy tailed. Submitted by Stephen Finlay, Doagh
Bangor
ballyholme
A quiet day, Bangor
A snowy Leap of Faith on the Stewartstown Road, Belfast. Submitted by Emma Toner
Snowy scenes in the Colin area of West Belfast. Submitted by Emma Toner
Broken down, North Down
Ward Park, North Down
McKee Clock, North Down
Granda Bob's garden, Killyleagh
Fire Mountain Carrigans Donegal. Submitted by Bert O Neill
Robin close up. Submitted by Matthew Harron , Limavady
Frozen apples. Submitted by Matthew harron , Limavady
Sun Up - Co Armagh. Submitted by Brian O'Reilly, Belfast
Sunset on Strangford Lough. Submitted by Michele, Greyabbey
Beautiful Sunny Afternoon @ Frozen Reservoir - Newline Rd, Carrickfergus. Submitted by Simon Brown
Carr Road, Lisburn, N Ireland. Submitted by Alister Hamilton
Carr Road, Lisburn, N Ireland. Submitted by Alister Hamilton
Snowboarding, Belfast
Fishermen , Movanagher Canal. Submitted by David McKendick
Chrissie Carson - Dundrod... Winter scene
David and Molly Fenning Lisburn
Chrissie Carson - Dundrod ... Little Bird
Chloe age 11 from Donaghadee...Alfie and Tacey the snow people
Brian Portadown Sunset at Bann Meadows
Brian Portadown Sunset at Bann Meadows
Bill Corr, Belfast
Avril Hughes, Lisburn ...photographs of the snow on the river Lagan towpath at Lambeg
Avril Hughes, Lisburn ...photographs of the snow on the river Lagan towpath at Lambeg 4
Avril Hughes, Lisburn ...photographs of the snow on the river Lagan towpath at Lambeg 3
Avril Hughes, Lisburn ...photographs of the snow on the river Lagan towpath at Lambeg 2
Arlene Barton, Aghagallon...school's out for winter
Adam Krauza Belfast Castle
Gerry, Sloan ... The Big Fish at Donegall Quay. Belfast
Gavin McVeigh Mallusk
Gavin from Mallusk ... Grays Lane Mallusk
Gary, Castlereagh. Merry Chrstmas
Gary, Castlereagh, icicles
G Morrow's icicles
Feldore McHugh, Belfast's Botanic Gardens
Feldore McHugh, Belfast Botanic Gardens
Evelyn McCullough - Portstewart Narnia
Evelyn McCullough - Arctic conditions in Portstewart
David Rainey, Belfast ...The tallest snowman in Belfast
David McFarland of Dollingstown... Lurgan Castle
David Fenning Lisburn Leisureplex
Scott Campbell Greenisland ...My bro spent his 22nd birthday building this 8ft snowman!
Roy Mallusk Snow fields
Roy Mallusk Snow field
Pauline Wilson ... Snowing at dusk in Coleraine
Pauline Wilson ... snowy bridge, Coleraine
Pauline Wilson .. Coleraine
Patricia Mackey, Newtownards ...Movilla Cemetery
Emma, Keira and Jamie Goldring. Helen's Bay...igloo
Martin Vinall Bangor Abbey
Kieran Monaghan, Glengormley A lone shopper braves the journey home
Kevin McConnell, Crumlin ... the snowman we built in our street
Ian Graham Belfast ... squirrel taking shelter & stocking up on nuts
Terry Irvine Ballyclare... Sixmile sunset
Steph & Katie
Stacey Dougan, Richhill, Co. Armagh ...View from top of Maynooth Road Richhill
Rod Mulholland. Tobermore church of Ireland. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore. Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Robert Telford .... Rays Wood, Antrim. Dec 2010
Rod Mulholland .... Tobermore church of Ireland.
Jo, Dromore Ghostly abode!
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, SeskinoreCaption: Dun SeedinYour email: darrell.universal@btinternet.com
Looking through my windscreen at the ice. By Mark Johnston, Bangor. Dec 2010
Snowboarding in the Mournes. By Shagster. Dec 2010
David McKendrick's snowy Movanagher lock. Dec 2010
The Marquis of Downshire Memorial, Hillsborough by Graham Construction
Frank, from Limavady. Benone looking towards Donegal. Dec 2010
David Montgomery, Killyleagh Co. Down. Delamont Country Park at Sunset. Dec 2010
sterling newtownabbeyCaption: frosty afternoonYour email: roy36@hotmail.co.uk
Frosty afternoon by Roy. Dec 2010
Newtownabbey frosted web Roy. Dec 2010
Having fun when their school is closed, Matthew and Owen Irvine, Maghaberry. Dec 2010
Gavin Miskelly, Darragh Cross, Mourne Mountains, Co. Down
Alison Lynas... Wacky Races at Burntollet Bridge
Santa arrives in Derry early by Gary Nash. Dec 2010
My son Martin and snowman. By Jackie in Crumlin
Donemana by Isobel Brown. Dec 2010
Emma Carson, Garrison, County Fermanagh .... Max the dog is ready for a snowball fight
Paul in Belfast ....The Silent Courtyard, Farnham Estate, Cavan. Dec 2010
Paul in Belfast ... Frozen Steps, Farnham Estate, Cavan
Paul in Belfast ... The White Garden, Farnham Estate, Cavan. Dec 2010
Frosty afternoon Templepatrick. By Roy. Dec 2010
Brian, Portadown: River Bann 7/12/10
Knockagh monument...by Ttim, Carrickfergus
Carole, Banbridge .... Home from school!
Garden Carwood Ave. Our Stephanie by Mervyn Ellis
Killygullen Lisnaskea. Taken by Eleanor Kerr
Brian McCalden, Glengormley ... Horses Glebe Road
Brian McCalden... Horses Glebe Road Glengormely
Tim, Carrickfergus ... Portrush harbour
Niall McCaughan. Cannons on the Derry Walls
Chess on the Lawn, Farnham Estate, Cavan by Paul in Belfast
Julie-Anne and Noel enjoying our Tenth Wedding anniversary at the Sleive Donard
Co Tyrone.... lovin it. Submitted by Ann. Dec 2010
Tropical palm in Portrush. By Jean Elliott
Coolnasillagh, Co. Derry. By Joe O'Kane
Paula Cuesta from Segovia assists with Winter Graduation arrangements at Queen's. Picture by Barbara Groves
The Cave Hill by Bill Corr
On the hill...by Bill Corr, Belfast
Hello Snow!...by Jean Elliott, Portrush
Fog over Belfast...by Bill Corr
Belfast Castle. Picture by Bill Corr
The Mourne Mountains, by Yvonne
Dawn on the wing, Belfast International Airport...by Steven Braiden
A red deer stag crosses the road as it comes down from the hills to the River Clunie near Braemar to forage for food as snow continues to cover much of the UK.
Looking towards Slieve Binnian, Mourne Mtns - by Jon, Portadown
Fiend or foe.... By Robin McCormick. Dec 2010
Silent Valley from Slieve Lamagan, Mourne Mtns - by Jon, Portadown
Craigavon Lake. By J O'Neill. Dec 2010
My Son Zack enjoying the snow. Dec 2010. By Trish Taylor in Derry
Spelga Dam 1.12.10 Taken by Ronan Sherry
Craigavon Lakes 1/12/10. Brian Portadown
My chocolate labrador Levi . Jason Davidson Ballymoney
Mournes snowboarding. Submitted by Gav
Sammy & Harvey enjoying the snow by Miriam Taylor, Belfast
Swans on the canal, Ballynahinch. By Pauline Rainey. Dec 2010
Broadwater Canal Aghalee. By Michelle Myles, Maghaberry
Foraging for food , Ballyclare. By Joan Wilson
Snow covered Brooke Park, Derry
Baby, it's cold outside!. By Sinead Hoben, Newry
Summit of Donard. By Brian, Portadown Caption:
Snowman. By Rod Mulholland Nov 2010
Little Aoibheann McElhone from Claudy braves the cold to make a snowwoman
Adam Kerr (6) makes the most of the snow on monday as he adds the finishing touches to an igloo at the Playtrail in Londonderry.
Stramore Road. Gilford. By 'jocorleone' Nov 2010
First time on a sleigh. Submitted by Jenny Kordys, Drumaness Nov 2010
Two-year-old Sophie Duffy enjoys herself after falling out of her sleigh at LIsnagelvin in Derry
Dromore Lane. By Rod Mulholland.Tobermore. Nov 2010
St Canice's Church Eglinton . By Willie Robb Eglinton Nov 2010
Frozen Cat: By Pauline Belfast
Craigavon lakes frozen and dusted with snow. By Jeremy Clifford, Craigavon Nov 2010
Kells, Antrim.Submitted by 'keveddy'
My pug enjoys snow for the first time. By 'littlestirishone' Nov 2010
Snow covered Brooke Park, Derry. Pablo O'Connor and his mum Laura.
Laura Henderson, south Belfast
River moyola tobermore. picture submitted by Rod Mulholand.Tobermore. 30.03.2010
A woman walks across the M3 in heavy snow in Cavan
A delivery man works in heavy snow in Cavan town
A woman walks through heavy snow in Cavan
Belfast Telegraph readers' pics of winter weather: Icy Waterfall on January 11. By Katie S., Killarney National Park
Snowy Fence around Ballymena. By Barry Lau - Ballymena
RIVER BANN,BALLYDOWN,BANBRIDGE, BY STEPHEN McDOWELL
Gallery of Belfast Telegraph readers' snow pictures Castle Gardens, Lisburn. By Tom Porter
A Winter Sun In Lisburn. By Tom Porter
Beautiful trees on divis mountains. By Pauline
Entrance to Belvoir. By Des Meredith at Belvoir
belvoir forest park. By fiona donnan  belfast
Lisburn's Winter Wonderland. By Tom, Lisburn
Mourne Mountains. By John Mitchell, Belfast
Wallace Park, Lisburn. By Tom, Lisburn
Strule Bridge. By Stevie, Omagh
Angela Eadie & her daughters having fun in the snow.
Cycling like madman on Sunday. By Lawrence Smith , Cavehill
Pictures taken in Aghagallon Village. By Etta Mullan
River Blackwater Maghery
near ballymoney. By nev walker
Foyle Walkway Derry. By Patsy Devine. Derry City
Eglinton village on a winter's morning. By tony doherty
Glenelly Valley Co Tyrone. By Patsy Devine Stroanbrack Co Tyrone
my back garden. By Brendan Donaghy
Cregagh Glen Belfast. By Peter Forster, Belfast
Lack , Co Fermanagh. By Doreen Gibson
Lough Neagh, Alan, Daniel and Aaron Monaghan, Maghery
THE TREE. By Moyaleen By William Pullins
Moira Demesne. By Peter B Waddell
Snow in Lurgan Park. By Margaret Taylor
Maghery, River Blackwater
ross , and alfie the snowman. By ross clarke
The Frozen River Bann in Portadown. By Gary English, Portadown
Rear of Armagh Cathedral in the early evening. By Gary English, Portadown
granny's house in the snow, magheranappin co donegal
My back garden. By Brenda Lennon, Munster, Germany
Frozen lakeside at Lurgan Park. By Jenny Hanna, Lurgan
Brownlow House, from Lurgan Park. By Jenny Hanna, Lurgan
Henry in snow!!By Jenny Hanna, Lurgan
Hazy Shade of Winter, Lagan Meadows. By Gavin Sloan
Shaws Bridge. By Tara, west Belfast.
River Foyle from Bay Park. By Pat Devine Derry City
Scots Pine, Ballinderry. By Peter B Waddell
Topiary, Nutts Corner. By Peter B Waddell
Cavehill. By Philip McCloy
Cavehill Robin. By Philip McCloy
Towards Silent Valley. By N Walker, Belfast
This is what I call a snow man, taken just before Moira roundabout. By Gillian Musgrave
Lady Dixon Park, Belfast. By Audrey Matchett
Frozen Beauty, Lady Dixon Park Malone. By Peter Breene
Lone walker at Lady Dixon Park Malone. By Peter Breene
River lagan at Drumbeg. By Peter Breene
Whitewater River, Kilkeel
Frozen Lough, Temple Co Down. By Iain Gregory
River Foyle, Derry. Photo by John Gallagher
Keeping the road clear at Spelga Dam. By Robert in Kilkeel
Spelga Dam in a snow shower. By Robert in Kilkeel
Slippy. By Chris O'Neill, Lagan belfast
no sailing. By Chris O'Neill Belfast
Noleen Cartmill & daughter Katie enjoy the slopes at Spelga Dam
The McCauley family from Rathfriland share the snowy slopes at Spelga Pass
A Frozen Lagan, Ormeau Bridge, Belfast
Scrabo Hill. By Jim Devlin Dundonald
A Robin on Slieve Donard. By Damien Conway, Belfast
MOSSLEY MILL POND. By ROY ORR MOSSLEY
The Water Hole/ The dam at the back of the Valley Leisure centre Newtownabbey. By Philip Mccloy
mournes..towards silent valley. By n.walker/belfast
Hazy Shade of Winter. By Gavin Sloan Lagan Meadows
Minnowburn Beeches. By Jayne Gregory Lagan Valley
An apple a day. By N Walker, Belfast
Redbreast, River Lagan. By B Maguire
Victoria Park, Belfast. By Glen Dunwoody, Belfast
High and dry. By John Hughes, Newtownabbey

Families forced to evacuate their homes after flood water swept through them may not be back in their properties for Christmas — and possibly not until months afterwards.

They must also throw away everything the dirty water touched due to the threat of disease.

Torrents of water cascaded into the houses in Bealaghmor in the Ballymagroarty area of Londonderry during heavy downpours on Tuesday night, forcing the families to flee.

But yesterday residents were told that rather than being able to begin the clean-up and return to their homes, it could be three to six months before that is possible.

The home shared by Rosaleen Donegan and her little son Odhran (4) bore the brunt of the force of the water. It was left so badly contaminated that even though the water has now been pumped out, she cannot re-enter her house.

Every piece of furniture in the downstairs of Rosaleen's house has now been rendered unfit for use. But away from the water marks, the leaves, broken twigs and copious piles of muck, it is still possible to see how perfect it once was.

In the corner of her living room her meticulously decorated Christmas tree still stands, and in the kitchen every piece of equipment shows just how high the water reached.

“We were told by the housing association that we won't be able to go back until everything has been de-contaminated and dried out. They said it could take up to three months but in the case of me and Raymond Beattie next door it could be six months,” said Rosaleen.

Rosaleen is now desperately trying to find somewhere for her and Odhran to live where they can spend Christmas. Help, however, is not as readily available as she thought it would.

“The housing association doesn't do short-term rents so I went to the Housing Executive and they have nothing,” she said.

Two doors away from Rosaleen, Catherine Ferguson is in a very similar situation and the lack of information about who or where she can turn to for help is exacerbating the whole mess.

She explains: “We met with the housing association on Wednesday and they told us to throw everything out that the water touched.

“But I have no home insurance so I have lost it all — same as the others. We are all in the same boat.

“The neighbours have been so good and Fr Paddy our priest has been up with us and he sent the St Vincent de Paul up and the local councillors have offered to help — but when it comes to the statutory agencies they don't want to know.

“My son is only six months so while everything looks all right, there is no way I would take a chance because of him.

“We are staying with his granny now but you can't impose on people for months. A week or two is one thing but not for months, it's not fair to ask.”

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