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Widespread flooding as Northern Ireland is pummelled by torrential rain

By Joanne Fleming

Published 16/11/2015

The rising river at Abbey bridge in Omagh
The rising river at Abbey bridge in Omagh

Torrential rain over the weekend has led to widespread flooding.

The west of the province was hardest hit, with several roads impassable by Sunday morning.

A yellow weather warning for persistent and heavy rain issued by the Met Office for Saturday was in force until 6pm yesterday.

In Co Tyrone, roads were closed at Omagh, Scraghey, Drumquin and Clady, and sports pitches in Castlederg were submerged. There was also flooding in parts of Londonderry and Co Antrim. So far there have been no reports of houses being flooded or residents being evacuated.

The NI Weather Flood and Advisory Service warned yesterday of floods around the Strule River, Fairy Water, Camowen River and Drumragh River in Co Tyrone.

One motorist, photographer Paul Martin, warned yesterday that many roads were impassable in Tyrone. "Driving through flooding at Drumquin, I have high clearance jeep, not safe in cars," he tweeted.

Richard Clarke, Dergview Football Club manager and former Portadown Football Club player, tweeted a picture of his submerged pitch in Castlederg. "Pitch at Darragh Park totally under water today," he tweeted.

Sinn Fein Castlederg councillor Kieran McGuire said both the soccer pitch and St Eugene's GAC grounds were badly hit.

"They are both opposite sides of the River Derg," he said. "We have had sandbags at the clubhouse and the water is creeping very close. A number of cars have been wrecked. It is as bad as I have seen in recent years.

In Co Antrim, Ballymoney residents were warned to stay away from the flooded Riverside Park.

TUV councillor William Blair said the flooding was the result of heavy rain combined with its riverside location.

"They have been doing a great deal of work there," he said. "I am hopeful there has not been too much damage."

Sedan Avenue Bridge and Drumragh Avenue Bridge in Omagh have both reopened but closures are in place at Drumalegagh Road South near Beltany Road, B85 Urney Road (Strabane to Clady) at Flushtown Bridge and U204 Urney Road (Clady to Dunnyloop).

The Met Office predicts changeable conditions today, with bright spells giving way to heavy showers. It also predicts southwesterly gales, with severe gales towards the north coast.

The PSNI has urged road users to exercise extra caution due to surface water.

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