| 4.6°C Belfast

£2,000 flood barriers let Ballymena woman rest easy on eve of storm Dennis

Close

Margaret Morrison with specialist flood defence barriers at her home on the Toome Road in Ballymena

Margaret Morrison with specialist flood defence barriers at her home on the Toome Road in Ballymena

Margaret Morrison with specialist flood defence barriers at her home on the Toome Road in Ballymena

A Co Antrim woman whose home has twice been hit badly by flooding since she moved in says a hi-tech intervention means that when Storm Dennis arrives this weekend she should be able to sleep at night without worrying.

Margaret Morrison (53) lives at the bottom of the Toome Road in Ballymena which has seen homes regularly flooded in the past. But now, thanks to two snugly-fitted specialist flood defence barriers at her front and back doors which cost her nearly £2,000, Storm Dennis is less of a worry.

Whenever there is a storm forecast the barriers, around two-feet high, are slotted into place and whenever she wants to leave her home she simply steps over them.

Margaret said the barriers were not cheap but believes it was money well spent.

Most householders still use sandbags to safeguard their properties.

"These barriers give us a wee bit of peace of mind and you can go to bed at night and hope that nothing will happen and you are not as nervous anymore," said Margaret.

She has lived at Toome Road for nearly 13 years and in that period her home had been flooded twice.

"Eleven years ago it was four-feet high and then in 2014 it was skirting (board) height.

"Furniture and everything downstairs was completely damaged the first time but the second time we knew it was going to come and we brought everything upstairs but it was bad enough to get dried out."

The householder added: "That happened in June and it was before Christmas before we got everything sorted and dried out. The barriers give us a wee bit of peace of mind."

The UK is bracing itself for more disruption with Storm Dennis.

Storm Dennis is likely to bring very heavy rain, flooding and disruption in some areas, the Met Office has said.

Amber warnings for rain and yellow warnings for wind are in place for much of the UK from this afternoon and into Sunday evening.

Further yellow warnings for wind are in place for Scotland and Northern Ireland from midday tomorrow until noon on Monday.

NI Water recently announced that a £2m flood alleviation scheme for the Toome Road/Wakehurst Road area of Ballymena is now under way which is not expected to be completed until 2021.

NI Water project manager David McClean said recently that he was delighted that the investment scheme is under way.

"(This) will bring many improvements to our customers, including improving the local sewerage infrastructure and providing additional storage during periods of heavy rain, which will substantially reduce the risk of future flooding," he said.

"The project involves the upgrade of existing sewers, as well as the installation of new sewers on Wakehurst Park, Wakehurst Road, Queen Street and Toome Road. Construction of a large storage tank is also under way on land adjacent to the council playing fields at Wakehurst Road."

Belfast Telegraph