Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 5 March 2015

High tide shuts coastal roads - but Belfast escapes flooding again

Volunteers give out sandbags at Inverary Community Centre in the Sydenham area earlier this month
Volunteers give out sandbags at Inverary Community Centre in the Sydenham area earlier this month
FLASHBACK: Flooding on Holywood Promenade earlier in January Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Portaferry was swamped with water at high tide on Monday afternoon. Photo Twitter/PortaferryGala
Residents and emergency services gather beside Victoria Park in east Belfast ahead of possible flooding. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
The high tide flowed into Belfast Harbour around Duncrue Industrial Estate.
Flooding on Holywood Promenade. Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Strong winds and high tides have caused serious flooding in Warrenpoint, County Down. Photograph by NewRayPics
The playpark submerged under water in Donaghadee. Photo by David J Campbell
Water crashes onto Portaferry Road. Photo by Jane Neely
Residents in the Sydenham area of Belfast place sandbags in front of their houses.
Volunteers give out sandbags at Inverary Community Centre in the Sydenham area.
A walker takes his life into his own hands as he strolls along Warrenpoint promenade, where strong winds and high tides have caused serious flooding. NewRayPics
Members of the public are soaked by stormy seas in Donaghadee. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Members of the public are soaked by stormy seas in Donaghadee. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Strong winds and high tides have caused serious flooding in Warrenpoint, County Down. NewRayPics
Residents on the Esplanade in Holywood watch nervously as the flood water inches ever closer this afternoon after a tidal surge and gale force winds. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
In Old Warrenpoint Road, Newry, the O'Hare family get help from a neighbour to deliver sand sandbags to the house. NewRayPics
Residents on the Esplanade in Holywood watch nervously as the flood water inches ever closer this afternoon after a tidal surge and gale force winds. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Agencies across Belfast and beyond prepare defensives due to flood warnings around high tide. A boat submerged in Carrickfergus harbour.
Rats appear in numbers after heavy flooding on the Esplanade in Holywood this afternoon after a tidal surge and gale force winds. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
A young girl bravely takes on the standing water on the Esplanade in Holywood this afternoon after a tidal surge and gale force winds. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Corporation Street was closed off due to fear of flooding from the docks. Houses and businesses in the area had to put sandbags outside their doors.
Heavy flooding on the Esplanade in Holywood this afternoon after a tidal surge and gale force winds. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Corporation Street was closed off due to fear of flooding from the docks. Houses and businesses in the area had to put sandbags outside their doors.
Corporation Street was closed off due to fear of flooding from the docks. Houses and businesses in the area had to put sandbags outside their doors.
Heavy flooding on the Esplanade in Holywood this afternoon after a tidal surge and gale force winds. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
A resident kicks out at a rat after heavy flooding on the Esplanade in Holywood this afternoon after a tidal surge and gale force winds. Rats starting appearing in numbers as the water rose quickly. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Defences are put in place along the waterfront in Carrickfergus.
Boulders washed from the sea onto the road at Dalriada Park in Cushendall during the storm and high tide on Friday
Boats struggle to hold their moorings at Waterfoot on Friday.
Boats struggle to hold their moorings at Waterfoot on Friday.
. Contractors with mechanical diggers were required to clear the stones of the road and put them back onto the beach, also the Antrim coast road between Carnlough and Waterfoot was closed as boulders were being swept from the sea onto the road
Residents on the Esplanade in Holywood watch nervously as the flood water inches ever closer this afternoon after a tidal surge and gale force winds. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Carnlough Village came to a standstill after thousands of coast stones were flung on to the main road. Contractors with mechanical diggers were required to clear the stones of the road and put them back onto the beach.
East Antrim MLA Oliver McMullan surveys the damage done by the high tide to the sea wall at Cushendall beach as storms lash the north Antrim coast.
The Victorian Bathing Pool at Warrenpoint was flooded due to the high tide. NewRayPics
Carnlough came to a standstill after thousands of coast stones were flung on to the main road of the village. Contractors with mechanical diggers were required to clear the stones of the road and put them back onto the beach, also the Antrim coast road between Carnlough and Waterfoot was closed as boulders were being swept from the sea onto the road
Carnlough came to a standstill after thousands of coast stones were flung on to the main road of the village. Contractors with mechanical diggers were required to clear the stones of the road and put them back onto the beach, also the Antrim coast road between Carnlough and Waterfoot was closed as boulders were being swept from the sea onto the road
03.01.14. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD People battling through the high winds in Belfast City Centre yesterday
Corporation Street was closed off due to fear of flooding from the docks. Houses and businesses in the area had to put sand-bags outside their doors.
Carnlough came to a standstill after thousands of coast stones were flung on to the main road of the village. Contractors with mechanical diggers were required to clear the stones of the road and put them back onto the beach, also the Antrim coast road between Carnlough and Waterfoot was closed as boulders were being swept from the sea onto the road
A vehicle is swamped by high waves in Carnlough Co Antrim.
PSNI officers take away sandbags in the Sailortown area of Belfast as the threat of flooding eased. Picture By: Arthur Allison
PSNI officers take away sandbags in the Sailortown area of Belfast as the threat of flooding eased. Picture By: Arthur Allison
Coast walks at Cushendall are ripped apart, summer seats wrecked and bins ripped from their foundations near Cushendall Golf Club.
Coast walks at Cushendall are ripped apart, summer seats wrecked and bins ripped from their foundations near Cushendall Golf Club.
Kilkeel harbour saw strong winds and high tides around noon. NewRayPics
The footbridge near Cushendall Golf Club was closed off because of storm damage.
In Old Warrenpoint Road, Newry, the O'Hare family get help from a neighbour to deliver sand sandbags to the house. NewRayPics

Northern Ireland's coast has been battered again by strong winds and large waves, causing flooding that forced police to close some roads.

The Ards Peninsula has been badly hit, with parts of Portaferry and Donaghadee swamped with water.

Ards DUP councillor Stephen McIlveen tweeted: "Portaferry Rd dangerous atm with waves from lough. Best to avoid. If you can't, please drive carefully."

Seafront promenades in Holywood and Newcastle have been shut.

In Antrim the A2 coast road through Carnlough village was closed, and a section of coast road between Drains Bay and Ballygally was closed, but is now opened and passable with caution.

Police have warned members of the public not to place themselves or others at risk and to avoid coastal paths and foreshore areas throughout the day, as the Met Office yellow warning of wind is in place until midnight.

In east Belfast, disaster was averted when the predicted tidal surge failed to breach defensive barriers of about 40,000 sandbags.

The high tide turned at 2.44pm on Monday, when residents and emergency services gathered beside Victoria Park in east Belfast to watch the water level rise at Connswater River.

But the major deluge that was feared did not occur and residents breathed a sigh of relief.

East Belfast MP Naomi Long expressed her thanks to all involved in the effort to prevent Sydenham flooding.

"Although the worst-case scenario did not happen today or last Friday, I know the work that was undertaken was a huge reassurance to residents during what was a stressful time," she said.

“As well as agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Service, Belfast City Council and Red Cross among others, particular praise must go to ACC Stephen Martin of the PSNI, who co-ordinated the efforts and had plans in place for every eventuality. It was a fantastic example of good co-ordination and inter-agency working for the benefit of everyone in the area."

Ms Long advised residents with sandbags not contaminated by floodwater to store them somewhere dry for future use, adding: "If this is not possible, they can spread the sand on their gardens or return the sandbags to a local recycling centre, where they can be dealt with."

There had also been fears that rising levels in the River Lagan could have lead to flooding in the city centre.

But the only sign of anything stirring on the waters came in the form of two curious seals who popped their heads up briefly as high tide came in.

US freeze blamed for our relentless storms

By Jack Brennan

It may be thousands of miles away, but the extreme weather currently hitting the US is having a significant impact on conditions this side of the Atlantic.

Three thousand miles away, in the skies above the eastern seaboard of North America, lies the explanation of why the British Isles has been battered by storm after storm.

Cities on the east coast of America have been hit by plummeting |temperatures with up to two feet of snow falling in Canada and the north-east of the US last week. The storm killed 16 people and thousands of flights have been cancelled across the country since Wednesday. Parts of the American Mid-West are also expecting temperatures to plunge as low as minus 50 degrees celsius.

The atrocious weather has also affected the US States of Connecticut and Massachusetts, with schools forced to close and transport systems thrown into chaos. Airplanes were grounded at JFK Airport in New York after one jet skidded off the runway.

Just south of New York City extremely cold air from the north and relatively warm air from the south are coming together to create instability in the weather, thereby fuelling a stronger than usual jet stream. And that is why the impact is being felt on this side of the Atlantic.

The jet stream can be compared to a fast-flowing torrent of high-altitude winds dragging the recent sequence of storms towards our shores. Its unusual ferocity has supplied a series of low-pressure systems that have deepened on their approach to Britain.

 Emma Compton, of the Met Office, said the conveyor-belt effect of the intense weather systems was also being intensified by a process of ‘positive feedback' — the power of the storms boosting the strength of the jet stream, and vice versa. “This means we get these storms clustering together, a stormy spell, then a respite, then another system coming through,” she said.

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