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Floods cause havoc across province

By Victoria O'Hara

Heavy rainfall led to parts of Northern Ireland experiencing serious flooding yesterday with residents being evacuated from homes as water levels threatened properties.

Up to 50 householders in east Belfast were surrounded by water after a drain became blocked.

A Fire Service rescue team attended the scene at Castlehill Road and pumped out large quantities of water from the area.

A culvert had blocked and manholes were forced open by the pressure, leaving a mini-lake with dangerous holes in the area.

As a number of residents were forced to leave their homes, crews used specialist equipment to contain the rising waters.

At one stage the fire officers were moving water about a kilometre down the road to where other drains were working.

Water Service officials were tasked to examine the problem at Castlehill Road which is close to the Stormont.

The nearby Parkway in east Belfast was also flooded.

Meanwhile parts of the River Lagan had also reportedly burst its banks close to Annadale Embankment in south Belfast, spilling over the tow path.

Motorists using it were advised to drive with caution.

Meanwhile areas of Larne and Carrickfergus were also particularly affected.

Police warned motorists to drive with extreme care on the Beltoy Road and Marshallstown Road in Carrickerfergus.

There were also reports of flooding at Magazine Street in Larne.

Parts of Belfast's Knock dual carriageway and the Ballygowan Road were also struck by flooding.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Regional Development said: "Eight properties were threatened at Netherleigh and Castlehill Avenue but prompt action from Rivers Agency and the Fire and Rescue Services prevented flood water entering the houses."

The DRD spokeswoman added: "At least one property was flooded at Lisavon Drive, Sydenham, where NI Water were in attendance, and flooding was averted by the action of the various agencies at other locations throughout the province."

A spokeswoman for the water company said: "NIW has been working closely with Roads Service, Rivers Agency, and the emergency services to prevent floodwater entering houses."

Byron Chalcraft, Met Office forecaster, said up to an inch of rain fell in 24 hours in parts of Northern Ireland.

He said Lough Fea, near Draperstown in Co Londonderry, experienced the heaviest rainfall.

"In the last 24 hours they experienced 23.6mm of rainfall which is close to an inch of rain.

"In Katesbridge, near Banbridge there has only been 13mm, which is just over half an inch.

"So there has been a variation and some places have been affected more than others."

However Mr Chalcraft said there was no weather warning pending and the rainfall over night would be about 10mm.

"After midnight between 2am and 3am there will be another band of rain moving through Northern Ireland.

"And there will be more outbreaks of rain on and off until around 9am on Monday.

"It is still continuing to be very unsettled and still likely to be further rain coming across on Tuesday as well."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph