Belfast Telegraph

Over one month's rain fell in three days

By Noel McAdam

More than the average rainfall for all of November fell in just over three days last week, a Stormont Minister has confirmed.

The Assembly was also told that getting on for twice the average rainfall for November has already fallen - just over half-way through the month.

Flash floods which hit scores of businesses and householders, particularly in south Down and Co Armagh, were raised with Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy at Question Time.

He said the average monthly rainfall for November is three and a half inches, but total rainfall to date has been more than five inches.

He said the areas worst hit included Newry, Armagh, Portadown and Lurgan and added that, in a three-day period, four inches fell, more than the average for the entire month.

"The exceptional rainfall last week was absolutely astonishing in many ways," the Ulster Unionist minister said.

Responding to criticism from MLAs, he also insisted: "My department has never stopped clearing gullies.

However, he did admit: "Yes, we have had to restrict the work of external contractors."

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