Belfast Telegraph

Belfast goes on flood defensive with sandbags

Jack Brennan at Clarendon Docks, Belfast

Sandbag after sandbag lay across the entrances to people's homes, some piled up as high as the door handles.

Residents in the Sailortown area of Belfast had been frantically preparing to defend their homes against the threat of impending flood waters.

There was a sense of panic and uncertainty in the air yesterday morning as locals were unsure if their houses would be affected by the tidal surge.

Some residents began stacking sandbags against their front doors, while others liaised with the police on the best course of action to take if flooding did occur.

Many of the residents whose houses were on the ground floor were in a state of shock at the possibility of their homes being flooded. People lined the streets outside their homes, talking to and helping neighbours. Local businesses also shut early.

Police had advised that flooding was expected in Clarendon Dock, Corporation Street and Sailortown.

However, by 1pm the police began to remove sandbags from nearby streets, but sandbags at people's homes remained in place.

One resident, student Declan McManus, told the Belfast Telegraph how the panic surrounding the floods had caused disruption for him and his family.

He said: "I'm a student and I have a lot of work to do, but at the same time I can't just continue to work and concentrate, especially when there might be a big tidal wave coming towards my house."

Mr McManus' sister is disabled and he said that if flood water did enter their house, evacuating her would have caused problems.

Maura O'Rourke, who has lived in the area her whole life and whose house is at street level, said she was not concerned about the impending flood waters until she saw sandbags being delivered.

"It's frightening now when you think about it. When you think of England, it's awful what's happened there," she added.

With more high tides expected over the weekend and bad weather again forecast for Monday, it seems that sandbags could yet be needed in many parts of Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph

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