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Motorists pulled to safety as Armagh flood waters render roads impassable

By Linda Stewart

Five people have been rescued by firefighters in Co Armagh after two vehicles were swamped by flood water.

A woman was pulled from a car when it became stuck on the Armagh Road yesterday afternoon.

Four people in a 4x4 were also rescued in a one-hour operation on the same stretch of road in Moy, between Dungannon and Armagh city.

Newry and Armagh MLA Danny Kennedy praised the emergency services "who once again stepped up to the mark to assist the public in times of difficulty".

And he warned: "Given the tragic death of Ivan Vaughan, who lost his life in the flood just across the border at Glaslough in Co Monaghan on Sunday evening, it is imperative that everyone takes great care when out on the roads and does not take unnecessary risks."

Northern Ireland is bracing itself for gales of up to 70mph today as another low pressure system sweeps in from the Atlantic.

Forecasters have warned that some damage could be caused in the west by a combination of high winds and heavy rain.

Yesterday, many roads across counties Tyrone and Fermanagh remained closed to traffic after torrential weekend rain caused flooding. Dunluce Street in Larne was also closed due to damage to a building and concerns for its stability, and the Roads Service warned of debris on the carriageway and the pedestrian area.

The A46 Loughshore Road in Enniskillen reopened to traffic, but the Roads Service warned the flood had not fully cleared and it was passable only with care.

"The level of Lough Erne is continuing to rise and it is likely that this will continue through the week," a spokesman said.

"Road users should be aware of the risk of localised surface water flooding roads, and river flooding. Road users should exercise caution on all roads."

Yesterday, the Moy Road in Co Armagh was closed to all traffic with the exception of lorries following severe flooding.

Last night, forecasters Meteogroup warned that it would become windy across Northern Ireland today.

"Strong to gale force southerly winds will be developing because of a deep area of low pressure moving in from the Atlantic," spokesman Paul Mott said.

"This is going to bring a strengthening southerly wind through the day. Over much of Northern Ireland, winds will be gusting at up to 60mph during the afternoon.

"In a few spots in the west, winds will be gusting at up to 65mph or 70mph, perhaps enough to cause a little damage, maybe bringing a few trees down.

"Winds will start to ease through the evening.

"There will be fairly heavy rain but nothing out of the ordinary and milder temperatures of up to 12C."

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