Regularly flooded residents in the south of the town now have a much needed stop-gap facility close at hand in the form of a Sandbag Bank.
If and when heavy rain threatens to invade homes once again at Toome Road, Queen Street and Wakehurst Park, they will have speedy access to filled sandbags via a special container located on Council land at nearby Wakehurst Road.
DUP Councillor for the area, Ald. Martin Clarke says he delighted that his long-running call for a sandbag bank had been answered at the latest multi-agency anti-flooding forum which was held in the town back in June and was now in situ.
“The idea is that designated people in the area will be able to open the container which means residents have access to already filled sandbags when needed rather than having to wait until the appropriate department arrives,” he said.
“This also gives the department time to respond to this area and other areas of need,” said the Alderman who extended thanks to Transport NI (Roads Service) for their “commonsense approach” to the matter and to Ballymena Borough Council staff and Ballymena Cllr Reuben Glover for their support.
Ald. Clarke added: “This, of course, does not solve the problem of flooding but can be a help until the problem is solved.
“The people living in that area are fed up living in fear everytime there is heavy rain and their homes are ruined. Some people can’t get insurance any more and the premiums of those that can are getting higher.
“I know that NI Water are starting a Scheme and I will be interested in hearing how they are getting on at the next meeting of all the departments in a few weeks time when they will be reporting back to Council,” said Ald. Clarke who said he also hoped that his recent proposal, through Ballymena Borough Council, to invite Minister Danny Kennedy to meet with councillors and residents would come to fruition shortly.