Belfast Telegraph

Warning of storms and floods for parts of Northern Ireland

BY MICHELLE SMYTH

Thunder and flooding looks set to continue across Northern Ireland all weekend.

During the Met Office's yellow weather warning for rain on Thursday and Friday, parts of the area were pummelled and suffered from flooding while others were unaffected.

Portstewart man Gregg Nicholl said the weather there varied dramatically from lightning and thunderstorms in the morning to sunshine in the afternoon.

Liz Beaton, from Crossgar in Co Down, said rainfall was so violent there that the phone lines were down.

"It was like torrential rain here and our phone lines were down for about 20 minutes this morning.

"However, Comber which is only a few miles out the road, was bone dry," she said.

Tara French described the weather in Saintfield, just a few miles out the road from Crossgar, as "beautiful", with temperatures reaching 23C in the afternoon.

A striking funnel cloud was captured in the skies above the Glenshane Pass. These type of clouds often occur when super-cell thunderstorms happen.

According to Sean Penston, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, this type of selective bad weather will continue for the next two days with some areas being at risk of flash flooding. "Looking ahead, it will be generally unsettled with a high risk of sharp showers, thunder and lightning.

"This is caused by the warm air pushing in from southern latitudes. When this less dense warm air meets the cooler air clouds form and this is when we get the heavy rainfall."

Government agencies – Northern Ireland Water, Rivers Agency and Roads Service – are bracing themselves for further incidents of flooding this weekend. They have also issued advice that includes making plans to prevent water entering property, moving valuable house contents upstairs and knowing where to turn off electricity or gas.

The Fire and Rescue Service has also issued advice to the public warning them never to attempt driving or walking through a flood as there may be hidden dangers.

Additional advice on how to prepare for a flood and what to do if a flood happens can be found on www.nidirect.gov.uk/flooding. To report a flood, phone the Flooding Incident Line on 0300 2000 100.

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