Update from the Department for Infrastructure on flooding

Date published: 03 November 2023

The Department’s operational teams continue to work closely with multi agency partners in relation to ongoing flooding and are deploying resources effectively across a number of locations.

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Water levels in most areas are now starting to recede and recovery operations are well underway in Newry and other locations. River Bann levels are also falling and that should lead to an improvement in conditions in Portadown over the next couple of days. Lough Neagh is expected to peak over the weekend and is not likely to reach the levels experienced in the Winter of 2015.

However, water levels in watercourses remain stubbornly high in the Downpatrick area and this has had an impact on the viability of beginning planned pumping operations today. The department’s operational teams and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service met late last night to assess the situation further and plan what could be done. Preparation works ahead of the major pumping operation within this extremely challenging environment are underway and, as indicated on site with elected representatives and traders yesterday, efforts to remove flood water from Market Street will depend on how natural water levels recede and how effective our works today will be.  Every effort is being made to begin pumping as soon as possible, as the Department and our multi agency partners are keen to do all that we can to reduce the impacts of the flooding in Downpatrick.

We understand this is incredibly difficult for residents and businesses impacted and we appreciate their patience as we work with partners to manage the situation.    

We have already engaged with colleagues in Local Government and Councils about the recovery stage and we will play our part in that in whatever way possible.

Notes to editors: 

  1. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at: press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk
  2. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra on Facebook  @DepartmentforInfrastructure and on LinkedIn at DfILinkedIn
  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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