Belfast Telegraph

Weather havoc: Belfast lashed by ferocious downpours

By Nevin Farrell

Monsoon-like conditions meant rush hour chaos and disruption for thousands of motorists in Belfast and there was a report of a dozen vehicles abandoned after being damaged by a manhole that had its cover blown off by water pressure as drains struggled to cope with the deluge.

The rogue manhole cover at one of Belfast's busiest junctions - Parkway and the Holywood Road in the east of the city - wreaked havoc for motorists with Trafficwatch Northern Ireland at one stage advising commuters to avoid the area as cars had been falling foul of the hole. It is understood a number of vehicles suffered punctures.

Towtruck driver Dessie Foster (54) of G&D Recovery said: "I was told about a dozen vehicles were lying around that area. I have been on the go all day from 8.30am because of problems caused by floods, flat batteries and punctures." He was speaking as he hauled another abandoned vehicle onto his truck a short distance away from the chaotic junction after the vehicle ploughed into a flood on the main Belfast to Bangor dual-carriageway close to Holywood Exchange.

Close by on the Holywood Road, staff from a Roads Service lorry crammed with sandbags were speaking to residents but by early evening, it appeared homes had escaped the worst of the flooding as the rain stopped for a number of hours after 6pm.

East Belfast man Stephen Brown (48) said there was flooding close to Ashfield and Sullivan Upper Schools.

As the evening rush hour took longer than usual to clear, commuter Catherine Long decided to avoid being clogged up in slow moving traffic and had dinner in a restaurant instead.

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