THE son of a cancer patient had to bring his mother to hospital in a tractor this week because severe flooding near their family home meant the road was impassible by car.
Stephen Reihill’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer over two years ago, just before the last flooding in 2015.
Back then, his mother had to be transported by boat from their home on the Kinmore Road just outside Lisnaskea in order to attend her chemotherapy.
Two years on and the situation for the Reihill family isn’t much better, with new father, Stephen having to meet his mother’s community nurses on a tractor and transport them to their home in order for them to provide care to her.
A Rivers Agency employee, Stephen says he has been pumping water in the area in an attempt to lower the flooding levels.
He says however, that the only thing that will solve the constant flooding issue in their area is for their subsided road to be raised and levelled.
“One of our other neighbours was badly caught with the flood two years ago,” he told the Impartial Reporter this week, “Since that he spent a lot of money on getting his own lane raised. He isn’t too bad now this time around with the flooding, so it just goes to show that raising the road really would make a difference to our situation.”
Stephen and his wife, Aine have a nine month old baby boy.
“It is definitely not an ideal situation to be in at the minute when you have a family member not well and a baby in the house as well.
“At the end of the day, putting a baby in a tractor is highly illegal but what can we do? We have no other option if we need to go anywhere at the moment.”
When his mother fell ill earlier this week, Stephen knew there was no point calling for an ambulance.
“The ambulance wouldn’t be able to pass that flooding. So we had to get her into the tractor and take her to the hospital ourselves.
“Mummy has picked up a bit again now so we are hoping she will be able to get home again.
“Before we had our wee boy we could have just got on with it but it is a lot harder when you have a young family and someone who is unwell in the family.”
Ross McVitty, son of the late Jean McVitty at Rossmacaffrey in Lisnaskea is also struggling this week with continued flooding on his farm. He says around 50 acres of land in his area is currently under water.
“At the moment it is literally up to my head lights on the tractor in places,” he said, “I had to hire out a water pump to try and get the water down.
“And I have phoned Rivers Agency and Roads Service but all I get is lip service.
“When the water goes back down a bit it only takes another heavy rainfall for it to comeback up again.
“The only way to get around is on a tractor at the moment.
“I keep beef here and it is awkward getting supplies in here in or groceries. 
“We haven’t had any post or bins collected -- all the normal things we take for granted.
“During the flood in 2015 we were stuck for 12 weeks.
“I’m wondering will it be the same again this time.
“If you are out at night time you can’t tell where the river is and where the flooding is -- it is so dangerous. It’s hard to believe this is what anyone has to put up with in this modern world we live in. All that is needed is for the road to be raised of banks to be extended.”
Farmer, John James Donagho, who spoke to the Impartial Reporter last week, is still struggling with the after effects of last month’s heavy rain and snow.
“The roads are seriously bad with potholes. People keep telling me you could fish in some of the potholes out this way.
“My late uncle used to say Fermanagh would want to be roofed. I think he is right.”
A Department for Infrastructure spokesman said: “Whilst the protracted period of snowfall and rain resulted in the levels of Lough Erne rising over the past few weeks, the level of the Upper Lough Erne is currently dropping.
“DfI will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action if required but with levels dropping it is not currently envisaged that rain forecast later in the week will cause flooding of dwellings or business property due to Lough levels.
“DfI received four flood calls regarding several roads and private lanes having been flooded. No properties were at threat. 
“All sluice gates at Portora that assist regulate the water level in Upper Lough Erne at Enniskillen are fully open and the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) in Republic of Ireland are discharging the maximum quantity of water through their power stations to also assist with lowering of the lough levels.   
“The sluice gates at Portora are open for most of the year and are only closed during periods of low water to help prevent the level of Upper Lough Erne dropping.
“Pumping action at the Erneside flood defences is minimising the effects of the raised water levels on the Derrychara Link Road. Currently four roads are affected by flooding and DfI Roads have placed signage and diversions as appropriate.
“For up to date traffic information visit
“For up to date information on Lough Erne water levels go to”