Belfast Telegraph

A day of chaos as rains pours in Northern Ireland

By Anne Madden

Emergency funds are being made available for flood-hit households as another day of heavy rain is forecast across parts of Northern Ireland.

Relentless rain has caused serious flooding, with up to 100mm of rain falling in some areas in what is expected to be the wettest October on record.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood has pledged to help home owners if their properties are flooded during the severe weather by making emergency funds available through councils.

"I am concerned for the plight many householders could face as a result of this severe wet weather," Mr Attwood said.

"I have been liaising with council representatives to ensure they are well prepared, around the clock, to cope.

"In the event of the weather situation continuing to escalate and households being hit by flooding, I will look at how practical assistance can be offered to ensure properties are made habitable as quickly as possible."

The Environment Minister said he would monitor the situation with his officials on an hour-to-hour basis.

Local councils can offer help to flood-hit householders by assisting in the collection, retention and disposal of damaged household contents.

Councils can also help in making clean-up arrangements, and the provision of dehumidifiers.

Today is predicted to be mainly dry with some bright spells, but heavy showers are expected to break out over Fermanagh, Armagh and south Down later.

Counties Antrim and Down were the worst affected yesterday, with north and west Belfast, the coastal villages of Carnlough and Cushendall all badly flooded.

There was also localised flooding in Ballyclare, Banbridge, Lurgan and Moira.

After more than 48 hours of rain, many rivers burst their banks with Dromore, Co Down and Beragh, Co Tyrone hit particularly bad.

Transport routes were widely disrupted with many roads impassable. Last night, the Glenshane road between Dungiven and Drumahoe in Co Londonderry was closed. Several cars had to be towed out of deep water along the A26 Moira Road.

Winds of up to 45mph were expected off the Co Down coast last night.

The M1 was closed westbound yesterday between junctions 11 and 12 due to a fallen tree.

The Belfast to Dublin Enterprise service was also suspended last night due to flooding.

The severe weather has played havoc in the Irish Republic. Dublin City Council declared a major emergency as many parts of the city were under water last night.

Northern Ireland's Flooding Emergency Incident Line can be contacted on 0300 2000 100.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph