East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden has expressed surprise that Portstewart is not considered “an area of potentially significant flood risk”, following several flooding incidents during recent storms.
The sea has breached the sea wall a number of times in just the past year near the Crescent on the town’s Promenade, submerging a play area, car park and one local business.
“This area has been repeatedly affected by high seas and winds, that have seen the sea come over the top of the wall at the western end of the Promenade,” Ms Sugden said.
“Most recently, during Storm Franklin, locals saw much of this area submerged, washing sand and debris into the play area and causing serious damage to a local business.
“As a result of this – and many previous incidents – I questioned the Minister for Infrastructure Nichola Mallon about the sea defences there, with a view to seeing what could be done to mitigate the effects of future storms and high seas.
“She said an inspection of the sea wall along the Promenade had been recently made and was ‘found to be in good condition’. But these flooding incidents are clearly an ongoing problem and a solution needs to be found.
“Minister Mallon agreed to instruct her officials at the Department for Infrastructure to keep the wall under observation, but I would urge her to explore the options for preventing future incidents.
“It may be the case that the wall is in good condition, but is it large enough? If it is not doing its job, then it should be improved so locals are given peace of mind and costly clean-ups and repairs are not an on-going problem.”