WORK on a major £300,000 flood defence scheme for flood-hit Clady will be completed by summer, the Infrastructure Minister has confirmed.
Nichola Mallon said the work currently being carried out on the Donneygowen Burn by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) will "significantly reduce" the risk of flooding to eight properties in the village.
It’s now over five years on since homes and businesses in the border village were left counting the cost after unprecedented flooding twice inside three weeks caused widespread destruction.
Major damage was caused when the village bore the brunt of ‘Storm Desmond’ in 2015 when the River Finn - which straddles Co Tyrone and the Finn Valley - burst its banks sending gallons of water pouring into properties in the surrounding vicinity.
Since then there have been further incidents of flooding.
Local politicians and community representatives have been pressing for action to protect the village from future flooding, and work finally got underway in the area in November last year.
The scheme is replacing the temporary flood defence with a permanent structure which consists of a new 65 metre piled flood wall and widening of the existing road bridge by two metres.
The temporary flood defence was erected by DfI following the 2015 flooding.
The Minister provided an update on the scheme to party colleague and West Tyrone SDLP MLA., Daniel McCrossan, in response to a written Assembly question.
"My department is currently carrying out a flood alleviation scheme on the Donneygowan Burn, Clady," she said.
"The scheme includes the replacement of a temporary flood defence with a permanent structure and the widening of the existing road bridge to help convey heavy flows of water.
"It is anticipated that works will be complete by June 2021. The new flood wall will significantly reduce the risk of flooding to eight properties in the area."
Mr McCrossan said news that the scheme is advancing is positive for the village.
"It should go some way in alleviating the devastating flooding we’ve seen in the past number of years," he commented.
“I welcome the current scheme and I'm delighted it will be finished by June this year. It will be welcomed by the residents of the village who unfortunately have suffered severely due to floods.
“All action necessary must be taken to ensure businesses and properties are protected from flooding across the area, especially in Clady."
Mr McCrossan sad he will continue lobbying the Minister on the need for flood prevention schemes across the area.
"I hope that all reasonable action is taken to protect homes and businesses from future flooding," he added.