Belfast Telegraph

Fire Service forced into action to protect properties as heavy rains cause commuting chaos

By Lauren Harte

Heavy rain caused flooding and travel disruption in parts of Northern Ireland yesterday.

Many drivers faced delays during the rush-hour commute with flooding on a number of roads in and around Belfast, as well as parts of counties Antrim and Down.

The A2 between Belfast and Bangor was closed city-bound while heavy rain also affected the Castlereagh Road, Connswater Greenway, Stranmillis Embankment and elsewhere in south Belfast. Some bus services in the city were also hit by the adverse weather conditions.

Orchardville Avenue in Finaghy was one of the worst affected areas after heavy rain fell during the night.

Members of the Fire Service attended the scene early yesterday morning to help pump the water away from properties and ensure it didn't breach any homes.

Residents including Mary T McMullan (80) woke to find high water levels at her door for the second time this year.

Mary, who has lived in the area for 46 years, said: "The water was coming in all over the front of the house. My garden was only redone in September by my grandsons but now it's all ruined so that's money down the drain.

"This year has been particularly bad with flooding and I don't know why nothing is being done about it when things are clearly getting worse."

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, added: "When I got up at 7am to bring my son to work the water was already up past the wheel of my car and the first step into the house so we couldn't get out.

"This is the second incident this year and previously we had everything that went down the toilet ending up in our garden. With another weather warning issued for Friday we just don't know what might happen next.

"While we have been lucky this time, this is just happening too often and something needs to be done before this occurs again."

Michael Mulhern, who lives around the corner, said: "At 7.30 in the morning, people on this street were knee deep in water and some of them couldn't get to work.

"It's a real worry for people living here when the water levels rise and especially if there is more rain due later this week."

The flooding at Orchardville also affected those trying to access Finaghy train station, including commuter Alana Hughes.

"There were a lot of cars parked all along the main road and in the adjoining estates belonging to people who had tried to get to the station to use the park and ride facility," she said.

"I saw one car being towed out of the water as the driver had tried to drive through the flooding."

Further flooding is expected tomorrow when a belt of heavy rain and strong winds is due to batter all parts of Northern Ireland with a weather warning in place from 9am to 9pm. Heavy rain of between 15-25mm is expected to fall, increasing to 40-60mm on higher ground.

Belfast Telegraph

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