Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Weather warning as Northern Ireland braces for lashing gales and downpours

Press Eye , Belfast, Northern Ireland, - 23rd October 2011 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye Motorists driving through floods at Glenavy Road, Moira this evening after a day of heavy rain.

All Stena sailings from Northern Ireland are expected to be delayed today, as heavy rain and gale force winds hit Northen Ireland.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for heavy downpours and blustery conditions, which could result in localised flooding.

The yellow warning has been in place since yesterday morning and will continue until midnight tonight.

Gusts of up to 60mph are expected across Northern Ireland throughout the course of the day.

Last night, the emergency services advised motorists to only make vital journeys because of the treacherous conditions.

Sailings were affected, with the 5pm HSS Stena Voyager cancelled and the 10pm Stena Navigator delayed.

Flood water caused damage to a care home on the Station Road in Antrim.

Residents were unaffected, but extra staff were drafted in to help with the clear-up operation.

Parts of Finaghy in south Belfast and Edenduff Terrace in Randalstown were flooded.

The Antrim Road at Belfast Zoo was closed by the police and several cars became stranded in water on the A26 Moira Road.

According to Robin Steel of the Met Office, people should expect severe conditions across the province today.

"What we've got is the first pulse of very heavy rain moving across Northern Ireland," he said.

"Heavy outbreaks of rain are expected across the day with very heavy showers. We're talking about 20mm-40mm of rainfall along with lots of gale force winds coming across the North Channel, North Antrim and Down."

It's not just Northern Ireland feeling the blustery, wet conditions with areas such as Cornwall, West Devon and Pembrokeshire also suffering.

Many regions across the UK are likely to see 30-60mm of rain - with some torrential downpours bringing more than 100mm.

Among those events affected over the weekend was the BBC's Live 'n' Deadly: Deadly Day Out, which was cancelled due to the bad weather. It was due to take place at Castlewellan Forest Park in Co Down yesterday afternoon.

But it's not all doom and gloom according to the Met Office forecasters.

"The good news is we will see the back of the rain on Tuesday, then a better spell of weather onwards with brighter conditions from Tuesday."

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