The East Belfast MP visited the area earlier in the day to offer assistance to residents. During the morning she also passed on her thanks to Red Cross volunteers and visited Victoria Park Primary School, which is in the flood risk area. Mrs Long was speaking as the height of the Connswater River reduced, leaving Sydenham relatively unscathed.
She praised those agencies involved in the operation to prevent flooding, as well as local residents, who pulled together to prepare for a surge that thankfully never came.
“There was a huge amount of effort involved in Sydenham to get the area ready for a flood that luckily did not materialise. Although the worst-case scenario did not happen today or last Friday, I know the work that was undertaken was a huge reassurance to residents during what was a stressful time.
“As well as agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Service, Belfast City Council and Red Cross among others, particular praise must go to ACC Stephen Martin of the PSNI, who co-ordinated the efforts and had plans in place for every eventuality. It was a fantastic example of good co-ordination and inter-agency working for the benefit of everyone in the area.
“I would advise residents still in possession of sandbags not contaminated by floodwater to store them somewhere dry for future use, as we are not out of the winter yet. If this is not possible, they can spread the sand on their gardens or return the sandbags to a local recycling centre, where they can be dealt with.”