Twenty jobs lost as severe floods swamp Kinnego Marina shops near Lurgan

Twenty jobs have been lost as severe flooding led to the closure of four shops at Kinnego Marina.

Tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused to the stores after unprecedented flooding over recent days.

Severe flooding at Kinnego Marina shops

Severe flooding at Kinnego Marina shops

And questions have been asked why the level of Lough Neagh was allowed to reach such heights.

Nigel Sands, owner of Sands Marine, said his business is ‘under water’.

“I can’t operate. There is no phone system. Obviously afraid to put electric on in the building. People can’t get in to buy stock.”

Manus Lappin of Evolution Motorworks said they were fortunate to get most of the stock out of the way of the flood.

Flooded shop at Kinnego Marina

Flooded shop at Kinnego Marina

Mr Lappin said the lough is three feet above the standard average high.

“Questions need to be asked as to why this was allowed to happen,” said Mr Lappin.

Paul Quinn of South Shore Marine said: “That’s us ceased trading. We can’t trade any longer.

“There are nine people in my firm now who are going to be laid off. It is going to take weeks if not months for all the damage to be repaired.

“At the moment we can’t stop the water from getting any higher and it is going to be a clean up operation when the water falls.

“We have no trade whatsover so our business has come to a halt.

“The level of the lough could have been lowered in advance of the storms,” said Mr Quinn who estimates he will be losing tens of thousands of pounds worth of trade.

Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly described the scene as ‘utter devastation’.

The SDLP MLA said there was a sense of helplessness.

“We have been to all the agencies looking for help for these people and we are getting doors slammed in our faces,” she said.

Mrs Kelly demanded that the Assembly meet immediately as an emergency to look at the situation.

“COBRA is meeting in GB. The Assembly here needs to get its act together,” she said.