Surgeries and other procedures cancelled last week following a flooding incident at Lagan Valley Hospital will be rescheduled as soon as possible, the South Eastern Health Trust has assured.
The basement of the hospital was flooded when a water main within the grounds of the property burst in the early hours of last Thursday morning.
Neighbouring residential properties, a food business and a nursing home were also badly affected by the incident.
Hillsborough Road was closed to traffic between Sprucefield and Governors Road for several hours while fire crews pumped away an estimated 10 million litres of flood water.
Surgeries and endoscopy procedures scheduled to take place at the hospital on Thursday had to be cancelled and patients had to be provided with bottled drinking water.
The hospital’s on-site water tanks and additional tankers provided by NI Water allowed other services to continue to operate normally.
“Surgery and endoscopy procedures were cancelled throughout Thursday, and those patients will be rescheduled as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for the South Eastern Trust said.
“Other services were able to operate normally because we have tanks of water on site to facilitate washing, cleaning etc and we distributed bottled drinking water to patients.”
It’s understood the basement of the hospital, which houses plant machinery, was badly flooded.
At the time of going to print, the Trust was still assessing the extent of the repairs required at the hospital and the costs involved.
A number of owners and tenants of properties on Hillsborough Road were also affected by the flooding.
A mother and her son have had to leave their home and have been living in a hotel ever since.
One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, contacted the Star to say their car had to be written off due to damage caused by the flood water.
They said: “Our house wasn’t damaged lucky enough, however my dog’s pen was under about two and half feet of water, the back garden was like a river and the front garden was like a river. The car was full of water.
“My neighbour, her house is totally destroyed, they filled a skip, everything had to go. All the sewers had been lifted. They’ve had to stay in a hotel just up a road.”
A spokesperson for NI Water said that whilst bursts like this are unpredictable by their nature, the company has “taken all reasonable steps to minimize the risk of this occurring again.”
They added: “NI Water’s loss adjusters have visited the small number of nearby properties affected by the burst and have made contact with the tenants or owners, who will not be required to submit claim forms. If anyone else has sustained damage as a result of the incident and they have not been contacted, they are invited to obtain a claim form by contacting Waterline on 03457 440088.”