Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Weather to ease after weekend storms bring chaos

The strong winds and rain that battered Northern Ireland throughout the weekend were expected to ease today.

Weather forecasters are predicting showers and occasional sunshine for the next few days in contrast to the wintry conditions which caused disruption across parts of the country during Saturday and Sunday.

Yesterday gusts of wind exceeded 50mph with the strongest of 54mph recorded at Ballykelly.

And the recent cold, dry spell has left the ground extremely hard and unable to absorb the weekend’s heavy rainfall, leading to flooding in parts.

Counties Antrim and Down are thought to have suffered worst with reports of fallen trees and floods.

The Portaferry Road, just outside Newtownards, was flooded after Strangford Lough burst its banks yesterday.

A PSNI spokesman urged drivers to exercise caution. It is understood the road was passable with care.

High winds were also being blamed for causing damage to overhead power cables in the Crawfordsburn area outside Bangor. The area near the Rathmore Road was closed for a time on Saturday.

Meanwhile in Co Antrim drivers were urged to take extra care because of a fallen tree.

The Long Rig Road, about two miles from Nutts Corner, was closed for several hours from about 9am yesterday.

A spokesman for the PSNI warned motorists to allow extra time for their journey.

Last night a spokesman for weather forecasters Meteogroup said winds would gradually ease with a greater chance of rain in western areas.

He said: “Today is expected to see one or two showers with occasional sunshine. There will be a stiff and gusty south westerly wind, but nothing as strong as the winds we have seen over the weekend.

“Overnight it will be dry, but chillier.

“Into Tuesday and it will be a much better day. Dry with a small chance of a shower or two. There will be occasional sunshine and overnight it will be cold, frosty and foggy, but not as harsh as the frosts we have seen lately.”

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