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Flood families face Christmas in temporary accommodation

Families left homeless by the August floods will not be able to return to their homes in time for Christmas. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

NINE families left homeless by floods which swept the north west in August will have to spend Christmas in temporary accommodation.

A major rain storm at the end of August cost millions of pounds worth of damage in counties Derry, Tyrone and Donegal.

Roads and bridges throughout the area were swept away while families were forced to flee their homes as rivers burst their banks.

The worst hit areas were Eglinton, Drumahoe and Claudy in Co Derry and the border village of Burnfoot in Co Donegal.

It has now emerged that nine families in the Pairc na Grianan development in Burnfoot are still homeless.

Inishowen councillor Jack Murray, who met the families this week, said there was no hope at this stage of the families being able to return to their homes in time for Christmas.

“I met them in the shell of one of the houses this week and they are all severely stressed. These are families with young children and they have not been able to return to their homes in four months."

The Sinn Féin councillor said the families had been move to temporary accommodation in other border villages such as Bridgend and Muff, away from their home towns.

“The problem is that Donegal council cannot go into the repair the houses until flood protection measures are put in place by the Office of Public Works and they have not said when that will be."

Mr Murray said the trauma suffered by the families was being made much worse by the fact that they would not be in their homes at Christmas.

“It means that this year Christmas is more-or-less a non event for some of them,” he said.

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