‘Storm Dennis may be on the way but now we can sleep at night’

Margaret Morrison at her front door in Ballymena

A WOMAN whose home has twice been hit by flooding since she moved in 13 years ago says a hi-tech intervention means that when Storm Dennis arrives this weekend she should be able to sleep at night without worry.

Margaret Morrison at her front door with the flood defence in place


Margaret Morrison (53) lives at the bottom of the Toome Road in Ballymena which has seen homes regularly flooded in the past but now thanks to two snugly-fitted specialist flood defence barriers at her front and back doors – which cost her nearly £2,000 – Storm Dennis is less of a worry.

Flooding at Toome Road in the past.


Whenever there is a storm forecast the barriers – which are around two foot high – are slotted into place and whenever she wants to leave her home she simply steps over them.

Flood barriers at Toome Road


Margaret said the barriers were not cheap but believes it was money well spent.

Other nearby properties are still using the old method of putting down sandbags.

Toome Road flood protection barrier


Explained Margaret: “These barriers give us a wee bit of peace of mind and you can go to bed at night and hope that nothing will happen and you are not as nervous anymore.”

She has lived at Toome Road for nearly 13 years and in that period her home had been flooded twice.

Toome Road flood defence barrier


Said Margaret: “Eleven years ago it was four feet high and then in 2014 it was skirting height.

“Furniture and everything downstairs was completely damaged the first time but the second time we knew it was going to come and we brought everything upstairs but it was bad enough to get dried out.

“That happened in June and it was before Christmas before we got everything sorted and dried out.

“The barriers give us a wee bit of peace of mind,” said Margaret.

The UK is bracing itself for more disruption with Storm Dennis.

Storm Dennis “is likely to bring very heavy rain, flooding and disruption” in some areas the Met Office says.

Amber warnings for rain and yellow warnings for wind are in place for much of the UK from Saturday afternoon and into Sunday evening.

Further yellow warnings for wind are in place for Scotland and Northern Ireland from midday on Sunday until midday on Monday.

NI Water recently announced that a £2 million Flood Alleviation Scheme for the Toome Road/Wakehurst Road area of Ballymena is now underway which is not expected to be completed until 2021.

David McClean, NI Water Project Manager, said recently: “We at NI Water are delighted that this major investment at Toome Road is now well underway, which will bring many improvements to our customers, including improving the local sewerage infrastructure and providing additional storage during periods of heavy rain, which will substantially reduce the risk of future flooding.

“The project involves the upgrade of existing sewers, as well as the installation of new sewers on Wakehurst Park, Wakehurst Road, Queen Street and Toome Road. Construction of a large storage tank is also underway on land adjacent to the council playing fields at Wakehurst Road.

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