Co Armagh couple tell of flooding misery

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Herbie and Jean Anderson, who live at Derryvinney Road near Portadown, have up to 20 inches of water in their back garden and 13 inches at the entrance to their front door.

The flooding began at Christmas but is now at its worst and, yesterday morning, for the first time, their heating failed to come on, as the water approaches their boiler house.

The cow shed is just one of the outhouses flooded and on Tuesday Mr Anderson was forced to move his cattle to a neighbour’s shed.

His hay shed is also under water and up to 60-70 bales of silage are floating in the field, although he hopes that the wrapping will protect them.

He said: “This is the worst I have seen it here in 51 years. It has never been as bad as this before. When we got this house up 23 years ago we had no flooding.

“The house actually sits up on a steel column and the floor sits on top of that. If we were at ground level we wouldn’t still be here.”

His wife, who has lived there for 71 years, agreed.

The couple, who have been keeping up to date via a flood advisory website, said the lough - which is just half a mile away - is three-and-a-half feet higher than normal.

They praised the staff at Rivers Agency, as well as their “very good neighbours and friends”.

Their family, including daughter the Rev Elizabeth Cairns of Mullavilly Parish Church outside Tandragee, has also been helping, as have granddaughter Rebecca, grandson Christopher and his friend Bryan Stewart.

It will be next week before the Stormont Executive meets to discuss how they will divide up £1.3m of flood relief money available in Northern Ireland.