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Wall repair work starts in Derry

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The scene at Harding Street in Derry  16.12.11

The scene at Harding Street in Derry 16.12.11

Martin McKeown

Michael Carlin, from Harding Street in Derry at the rear of his house where a section of wall has collapsed. 16.12.11

Michael Carlin, from Harding Street in Derry at the rear of his house where a section of wall has collapsed. 16.12.11

Catherine Ferguson whose home at Bealaghmor was flooded

Catherine Ferguson whose home at Bealaghmor was flooded

Martin McKeown

Sand covers the floor of a house after the flooding at Bealaghmor

Sand covers the floor of a house after the flooding at Bealaghmor

Martin McKeown

Catherine Ferguson whose home at Bealaghmor was flooded in the Ballymagroarty area

Catherine Ferguson whose home at Bealaghmor was flooded in the Ballymagroarty area

Martin McKeown

Catherine Ferguson whose home at Bealaghmor was flooded in the Ballymagroarty area

Catherine Ferguson whose home at Bealaghmor was flooded in the Ballymagroarty area

Martin McKeown

Sand covers the floor of a house after the flooding at Bealaghmor

Sand covers the floor of a house after the flooding at Bealaghmor

Martin McKeown

The cleanup operation has started after the flooding at Bealaghmor

The cleanup operation has started after the flooding at Bealaghmor

Martin McKeown

One of the gardens which was destroyed after the flooding at Bealaghmor

One of the gardens which was destroyed after the flooding at Bealaghmor

Martin McKeown

Sand covers the floor of a house after the flooding at Bealaghmor

Sand covers the floor of a house after the flooding at Bealaghmor

Martin McKeown

An oil tank lies on its side after the flooding at Bealaghmor

An oil tank lies on its side after the flooding at Bealaghmor

Martin McKeown

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

Martin McKeown

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

Martin McKeown

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

Martin McKeown

A rugby pitch at the YMCA, Drumahoe, outside Derry, which was under several feet of water

A rugby pitch at the YMCA, Drumahoe, outside Derry, which was under several feet of water

Martin McKeown

Raymond Beattie who had to escape through a bathroom window after his house was flooded at Bealaghmor in Ballymagroarty

Raymond Beattie who had to escape through a bathroom window after his house was flooded at Bealaghmor in Ballymagroarty

Martin McKeown

A snow plough on the main Glenshane Road between Derry and Belfast

A snow plough on the main Glenshane Road between Derry and Belfast

Martin McKeown

Water pours into the  garden of a house in Bealaghmor in the Ballymagroarty area of Derry

Water pours into the garden of a house in Bealaghmor in the Ballymagroarty area of Derry

Martin McKeown

The Ballymagroarty area of Derry where several homes were flooded

The Ballymagroarty area of Derry where several homes were flooded

Martin McKeown

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The scene at Harding Street in Derry 16.12.11

Residents who had been living in fear after retaining walls collapsed putting their homes at risk have spoken of their relief at the arrival of specialist engineers on site.

The civil engineering teams spent yesterday examining how best to make the 150ft long damaged wall safe at Marlborough Terrace in Londonderry.

Emergency stabilisation works have also now begun on the 30ft high structure, which partially collapsed a week ago, destroying several vehicles under tonnes of bricks, mud and rubble.

A further section fell on Saturday, destroying a garage.

Smaller collapses have continued since the weekend.

A second wall at Harding Street was also damaged in the storms last Tuesday night, with repair works set to get under way there in the coming days.

Derry City Council moved swiftly to co-ordinate a response for residents, many of whom have been advised to stay at the front of their properties.

Environment Minister Alex Atwood also intervened this week, confirming his department will foot the £250,000 bill for repairing the walls and authorising the council to bring in the contractors yesterday.

By last night, the contractors had begun stabilisation works on some sections of one wall and cordoned off the worst affected areas. Northern Ireland Water is now expected to carry out works to stop sewage leaks.

Resident Trisha Wilson, who lives with her seven-year-old son, Connan, in one of the Malborough Terrace houses affected, said residents were extremely relieved that action was now being taken.

She said: “Thank God, at last we are getting somewhere.

“I had to move my wee boy in beside me and he hasn’t slept this last two nights.

“More rubble fell yesterday and a tree and my wee boy was there. It has really affected him.

“My mummy is stressed out by it all. We are just glad now somebody is up there.”

Derry City Council’s chief executive Sharon O’Connor said yesterday: “The appointed contractor will establish a regime of stabilisation work and Derry City Council will continue to monitor the situation through this specialist support.”

A second report is expected within days for any stabilisation measures required for the Harding Street area.

Health and safety warnings issued for residents in Marlborough Terrace an d Street remain in place. Residents are urged to refrain from entering their rear gardens or yards and the back lane where the collapse took place.

Belfast Telegraph


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