Belfast Telegraph

North west of Northern Ireland avoids the worst of the storm

BY GARRETT HARGAN

The north west remained relatively unscathed by the severe weather.

Parts of Coleraine were worst hit with flooding and fallen trees, resulting in the closure of the Banfield Road.

The Culmore area of Londonderry experienced some flooding as the river rose alarmingly high at Culmore Point – washing debris onto the road.

This caused disruption for residents in the area, as this is the only road in and out.

Derry City Council had distributed sandbags in the area and these were put to use by home-owners.

Councillor Tony Hassan said: "I was in the Culmore area following concerns of flooding with the severe weather warning for the North over the next 24 hours.

"The weather conditions were terrible and I would advise people if they don't have to go out, to stay indoors.

"I know a lot of people go for walks down along the riverfront at Culmore but I would advise them to leave it until the weather warning is over.

"There is a lot of surface water on the roads around Culmore Point and a very strong wind; it only takes a split second for a serious accident to occur."

The Foyle Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles and other motorists were restricted to a 30mph speed limit because of severe winds.

Concerned locals called for beaches to be closed as some young people were playing a dangerous game of narrowly evading huge waves as they crashed to shore.

It became clear yesterday morning that it wasn't going to be as bad as expected and that protection provided by sandbags would prove adequate.

The Rivers Agency provided regular updates throughout the day to allow for the quickest possible reaction in case of flooding.

A weather expert claimed it had been some time since this culmination of weather conditions – high winds and rain – came together at once.

He stressed that conditions were right on the limit and could give no reassurances of no flooding.

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