Calls for financial aid for businesses counting the costs after flooding
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On Friday morning, the Department for Infrastructure said water levels in most areas were starting to recede and recovery operations were underway in Newry and other locations.
It said River Bann levels are also falling, which should lead to an improvement in conditions in Portadown over the next couple of days.
However, they described watercourses as remaining "stubbornly high" in the Downpatrick area, which has had an impact on the viability of beginning planned pumping operations.
"Preparation works ahead of the major pumping operation within this extremely challenging environment are underway and, as indicated on site with elected representatives and traders yesterday, efforts to remove flood water from Market Street will depend on how natural water levels recede and how effective our works today will be," it said.
"Every effort is being made to begin pumping as soon as possible, as the department and our multi-agency partners are keen to do all that we can to reduce the impacts of the flooding in Downpatrick."
SDLP MLA Colin McGrath has urged the Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris to visit flooded areas and move to provide financial aid for businesses with damaged properties.
Stormont government departments are working to assist those impacted by flooding.
However, senior civil servants leading departments have restricted powers to act in the absence of locally elected ministers in post.
The Stormont Assembly has been collapsed for more than a year amid DUP protest action over concerns around post-Brexit trading arrangements.
An existing programme is in place to help home owners with flood damage.
But Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster have said there is no financial aid available for businesses.
In a joint statement, they have urged Mr Heaton-Harris to provide an immediate funding package to support businesses who have suffered damage because of the recent flooding.
Retail NI and Hospitality chief executives Glyn Roberts and Colin Neill said many businesses may not survive without support.
"At present no financial aid is available for businesses that have been wrecked because of the flooding," he said.
"We have engaged with the Department of Finance on rates hardship but it is nowhere near the type of help these businesses need."
"Why is it business flood victims in the Republic and elsewhere in the UK can receive financial help but in Northern Ireland they receive nothing?"
"The Secretary of State needs to bring forward a financial package which will help these businesses get back on their feet again.
"Unless this is brought forward then many of these businesses and the jobs they support will be gone well before Christmas."