Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland flooding continues to have impact as bridge collapses

By Jonathan Bell

The devastation of the flooding last week in Northern Ireland continues to take its toll after a bridge collapsed in the Desertmartin area.

A bridge on the Iniscarn Road was said to have "caved in" late on Monday night. Police are advising motorists to avoid the area.

DUP Mid Ulster Councillor Anne Forde said it was likely the road would remain closed for some time and some farmers and homeowners would likely be left cut off and facing a detour to reach their property.

"We think the rain last week washed away the sand which undermined the ground beneath the bridge and it has collapsed," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"It is certainly very lucky it did not collapse with anyone on it over the past few days."

The councillor said she believed the bridge, a former railway crossing, would have to come down and a new one constructed which would likely take some time.

desertmartin bridge collapse.jpg
The collapsed bridge in Desertmartin. Pic Mark O'Connor.

"I will be meeting with the Department of Infrastructure officials and request that they prioritise repairs," she added.

"This is a farming area and the road would be well used by many farmers and people living in the area. There will be people cut off and some will have an extra 15 or 20 minutes added to their journeys."

Department of Infrastructure engineers are working to assess the damage throughout many parts of Northern Ireland after heavy rain flooded many parts. 

The department said agencies including the police, fire service, Northern Ireland Water, rivers, roads and local government teams were continuing to work on the clean-up operation.

A spokeswoman said it was the early stages of their work following the widespread devastation and they hoped to be in a position to issue information on works as soon as possible.

More than 100 people had to be rescued from cars and houses due to sudden flash flooding in Donegal, Tyrone and Derry on Tuesday and Wednesday. Derry City and Strabane District Council has said £270,000 in emergency aid has been handed out to affected residents.

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