Infrastructure saved Northern Ireland from greater flood damage

Existing flood defences have mitigated the effects of recent storms. 

Infrastructure and community planning are critical to flood prevention.
Infrastructure and community planning are critical to flood prevention.

ICE NI has praised the performance of flood defences during the recent storms in Northern Ireland.

Regional Director Richard Kirk said: "Over the past few weeks, we've seen the terrible impact that flooding can have on homes and businesses in Northern Ireland. However, the effects would be much worse were it not for the reliable flood defences already in place."

Following severe floods in 1987, government invested in defences in Drumahoe, Strabane and Omagh. Though flooding still occurs in those areas, it does not come close to the levels seen in past decades.

"Not only have we gotten better at putting defences in place, we have been wise about where we build," Richard said. "As we've seen in the past month, taking these precautions and investing in infrastructure means saving millions of pounds in the future.

"We welcome the news that the £1.3 million fund package will help people protect themselves and their homes and businesses. However, we also recommend the raising of roads in order to ensure connectivity during flood events.

"Though it is hard to say definitively that these floods are a result of climate change, the pattern indicates that we are having more extreme events more often. It is therefore crucial that we adapt to severe weather through community planning and, where appropriate, building infrastructure to protect our communities."