Flood-stranded Fermanagh residents left ‘living in fear’ of storms

Rural families repeatedly cut off due to flooding in parts of Co Fermanagh are calling for urgent action, saying they are ‘living in fear’ every time there is a storm.

The Boho area has once again been left dealing with severe flooding, this time in the wake of Storm Franklin – and more could be on the way.

Some roads are already submerged and completely impassable, with residents left to wade in knee-high waters or take to back routes over sodden fields.

Flooding is all too common in parts of Co Fermanagh. Credit: UTV

“Fear and apprehension would be totally at the forefront of their minds at all times,” local man Dessie McKenzie told UTV, explaining how people had to prepare to be stranded when weather warnings were issued.

“People should not, in this day and age, be trapped inside their homes after a few days rain.”

The community has been asking for action for a number of years now, but so far, nothing has been done and the Department of Infrastructure says they must become more resilient.

In a letter to local Sinn Féin MLA Jemma Dolan back in January, Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon wrote: “Unfortunately the costs outweigh any benefits in terms of flood alleviation that would be gained.

“My department has established a community resilience group in Boho to help residents become more resilient to the impact of flooding.”

Mr McKenzie said: “I think resilience has worn completely thin here at this stage.”

The area experiences serious flooding several times a year and those living there say it does not take storm conditions for them to become cut off.

A yellow weather warning is in place for parts of Northern Ireland on Wednesday, with heavy snow showers predicted.