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Road closures and flooding as Storm Ciara continues to batter Northern Ireland

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PACEMAKER BELFAST  09/02/2020
There were several roads throughout Fermanagh closed following the torrential rain brought by Storm Ciara.  Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/02/2020 There were several roads throughout Fermanagh closed following the torrential rain brought by Storm Ciara. Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  09/02/2020
There were several roads throughout Fermanagh closed following the torrential rain brought by Storm Ciara.  Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/02/2020 There were several roads throughout Fermanagh closed following the torrential rain brought by Storm Ciara. Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  09/02/2020
There were several roads throughout Fermanagh closed following the torrential rain brought by Storm Ciara.  Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/02/2020 There were several roads throughout Fermanagh closed following the torrential rain brought by Storm Ciara. Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

08/02/20 A woman battles through Storm Ciara in Belfast City Centre on Saturday Night. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

08/02/20 A woman battles through Storm Ciara in Belfast City Centre on Saturday Night. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

PACEMAKER BELFAST  09/02/2020
A popular walking route in Enniskillen is flooded in the wake of Storm Ciara.  Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/02/2020 A popular walking route in Enniskillen is flooded in the wake of Storm Ciara. Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  09/02/2020
There were several roads throughout Fermanagh closed following the torrential rain brought by Storm Ciara.  Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/02/2020 There were several roads throughout Fermanagh closed following the torrential rain brought by Storm Ciara. Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  09/02/2020
There were several roads throughout Fermanagh closed following the torrential rain brought by Storm Ciara.  Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/02/2020 There were several roads throughout Fermanagh closed following the torrential rain brought by Storm Ciara. Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/02/2020 There were several roads throughout Fermanagh closed following the torrential rain brought by Storm Ciara. Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

Several roads have been closed as Storm Ciara continues to batter Northern Ireland with high winds and rain.

The PSNI has advised that the Newtownhamilton Road in Armagh is blocked by a fallen tree near the Ballymacnab Road.

Motorists have been advised to exercise caution and seek alternative routes.

The Draperstown Road in Desertmartin is also closed due to a fallen telegraph pole.

Diversions are in place on the Nut Grove Road and the junction with the Iniscarn and Draperstown Road.

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Storm Ciara

Storm Ciara

Atlas Photo Archive/NASA

Storm Ciara

Sinn Fein MP Órfhlaith Begley has said all agencies must work together to deal with flooding caused by Storm Ciara.

The West Tyrone MP said: “A number of areas of West Tyrone have been impacted by flooding as a result of Storm Ciara.

“I and others Sinn Féin representatives have been out in those areas in Omagh, Trillick, Fintona and Newtownstewart and have been engaging with the Fire Service, Roads Service, the Rivers Agency and the PSNI to help residents.

“I convened a multi-agency meeting with the head of the emergency response on Fermanagh and Omagh Council to ensure everything that can be done is being done.

"My party colleague and Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey, has also activated the Scheme of Emergency Financial Assistance to support District Councils with the flooding.

“All agencies must work together to make sure plans are in place to deal with extreme weather events like this.

“I will continue to work with local communities and statutory bodies to support local residents at this difficult time.”

The Department for Infrastructure said it has been working with partners overnight to clear essential infrastructure to reduce the risk of flooding in homes.

A spokesperson said: "Pumping will continue today in areas at risk and hundreds of sandbags have been issued. Close monitoring of water levels and tides is ongoing and will continue until the weather warnings have elapsed.

"In Omagh, the Crevenagh Road Park and Share has been affected by flooding and those with cars left overnight are being asked to return to their cars as soon as possible.

"Roads have been impacted by localised flooding and it has been necessary to close a small number of roads.

"The public are asked to consider the need for their journeys, take extra care when travelling and adhere to road signs and/or any temporary traffic control measures.

"A warning for strong winds and heavy rain remains in place for today and tomorrow and it is possible this could lead to debris on the road, fallen trees and spray or large waves on coastal routes.

"If your journey is essential, reduce your speed, stay well behind the vehicle in front, remain focused and always wear your seatbelt. Traffic information can be found at www.trafficwatchni.com."

"Agencies will continue to monitor the situation closely and take any necessary action."

The extreme weather conditions are expected to lead to cancellations in air, ferry and train services, damage to buildings and possible power cuts, as well as large coastal waves and difficult driving conditions in heavy rain.

Weather warnings have been issued across the country amid forecasts of very strong gusts and the risk of flooding. Man flights have been cancelled and rail companies in England, Scotland and Wales have urged passengers not to travel and say they will operate reduced timetables and speed restrictions on Sunday.

A yellow warning for wind came into effect in Northern Ireland from noon yesterday with inland gusts of 50 to 60mph. It is expected that gusts could reach 70mph in exposed coastal areas.

The yellow rain warning came into effect from 3pm as 20 to 40ml of rain is expected to fall across the region.

Both of these warnings will continue until 3pm today.

Met Office meteorologist Helen Roberts said "quite exceptional" gusts of between 60 and 70mph would be seen in inland areas, with the worst of the weather likely to hit before 6pm, although warnings are in place until 9pm.

"As well as the strength of the wind there is the rain to come today," she said.

"So far, we have seen some impact from the rain, which has been heavy and persistent across Northern Ireland and northern England in the last 24 hours.

"It is likely we will see further impact from the wind such as falling debris, roof tiles coming off, branches and trees down, with disruption to travel as well."

Meanwhile, the Met Office has issued a yellow warning for snow showers and ice for Wednesday. It will come into force in Northern Ireland at midnight and will remain in place until noon.

Belfast Telegraph