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Belfast avoids major flooding as tide peaks

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First Minister Peter Robinson visits  Victoria Park in east Belfast as the Connswater River threatens to overflow

First Minister Peter Robinson visits Victoria Park in east Belfast as the Connswater River threatens to overflow

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Victoria Park in east Belfast as the Connswater River threatens to overflow

Victoria Park in east Belfast as the Connswater River threatens to overflow

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Preparations at the Docks area of Belfast after  Police  issued a warning of flooding in parts of Belfast and other parts of Northern Ireland on Friday. They have warned people who live or work in the Clarendon Dock, Corporation Street and Sailortown areas of north Belfast to take precautions.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Preparations at the Docks area of Belfast after Police issued a warning of flooding in parts of Belfast and other parts of Northern Ireland on Friday. They have warned people who live or work in the Clarendon Dock, Corporation Street and Sailortown areas of north Belfast to take precautions. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Council workers try to clear blocked drains as flood water settles in the Twinbrook estate in Lisburn Northern Ireland

Council workers try to clear blocked drains as flood water settles in the Twinbrook estate in Lisburn Northern Ireland

PA

Police have issued a warning of flooding in parts of Belfast and other parts of Northern Ireland on Friday. They have warned people who live or work in the Clarendon Dock, Corporation Street and Sailortown areas of north Belfast to take precautions. Glenn Allen puts sandbags outside his home in preparation for the predicted flooding in the Sydenham area of Belfast.
Picture By: Arthur Allison

Police have issued a warning of flooding in parts of Belfast and other parts of Northern Ireland on Friday. They have warned people who live or work in the Clarendon Dock, Corporation Street and Sailortown areas of north Belfast to take precautions. Glenn Allen puts sandbags outside his home in preparation for the predicted flooding in the Sydenham area of Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday.
Picture By: Arthur Allison

Sandbags are piled up in Victoria Park, Sydenham, east Belfast, where a tidal surge is expected to bring flooding on Friday. Picture By: Arthur Allison

Householders in East Belfast are braced for flooding amid warnings of high tides

Householders in East Belfast are braced for flooding amid warnings of high tides

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First Minister Peter Robinson visits Victoria Park in east Belfast as the Connswater River threatens to overflow

Strong wind and high tides have caused flooding in coastal areas of Northern Ireland but fears Belfast city centre would be severely affected proved unfounded as the tide peaked.

Much of the effort to reinforce water defences in Belfast was focused in the docks area, with a number of roads set to be closed to traffic as emergency services prepared for a tidal surge.

The tide peaked at 12.10pm and water levels have since been  falling.

Last night residents of Sydenham in east Belfast were told to pack a bag and prepare for potential evacuation. Sandbags were distributed to the public through the night while the authorities built up river defences.

But this morning the PSNI said the densely-packed neighbourhood may avoid "serious flooding".

The police spokesman said: "The most recent meteorological report gives us a greater degree of confidence that the extensive planning and preparation work undertaken yesterday may help to prevent any serious flooding in the Sydenham area."

He said the risk of flooding had also been downgraded for the waterside Victoria Square shopping centre.

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"The Victoria underground car park is being closed as a precaution and we would encourage people to not park in any other underground car parks in the area," he said.

"Whilst the risk for this area is reduced, we would encourage people to exercise caution and listen to media updates."

Police said assessments for Londonderry, Killough, Newcastle, Newry, Larne and Strangford areas also showed a slightly reduced flood risk from what had previously been expected.

The PSNI is co-ordinating a major planning operation involving many public services.

The Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Belfast City Council, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, the Rivers Agency, Belfast Health Trust, Road Service, Northern Ireland Water, Northern Ireland Electricity, British Telecom and travel operator Translink are co-operating.


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