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Weather: Northern Ireland floods wash away memories of heatwave with thunderstorms rattling Belfast  and heavy downpours causing travel disruption

Firefighters free trapped car and ferry children over deep water in Lisburn Road area

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Cars drive through floods in Belfast

Cars drive through floods in Belfast

Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Battling through heavy rain

Battling through heavy rain

Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

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Cars drive through floods in Belfast

Thunderstorms and heavy rain across Belfast have swept away a week of good weather.

What were described in a Met Office warning as “intense thunderstorms” in the city on Tuesday afternoon caused travel disruption and localised flooding. The PSNI urged motorists to use caution due to the heavy rainfall as firefighters assisted those stuck in Belfast flood waters.

Fire and Rescue crews on the Lisburn Road in Belfast came to the aid of young children whom they carried over flood water after a car blocked traffic for a time during the afternoon.

The flooding also badly affected some of the streets off the Lisburn Road.

On Lislea Drive in the city, firefighters waded through flood waters to reach a trapped Audi caught up in the deluge before later being freed. The Whiterock Road in west Belfast was also flooded.

The booming thunder was accompanied by flashes of lightning in parts of the city a far cry from warm temperatures experienced last week.

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Battling through heavy rain

Battling through heavy rain

Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Battling through heavy rain

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In Ballymena, drivers were warned to take extra care after heavy rain led to flooding on the busy A26 at Woodgreen. Footage on social media showed one lane of the road was impassable.

Parts of the Asda car park in Ballyclare were flooded and water leaked into the main entrance to the supermarket, forcing it to close. Homes in the area had to be protected with sandbags.

UUP MLA Steve Aiken said: “Emergency services [are] dealing with floods and additional support on its way sand bags available beside town hall”.

Meanwhile, there was also flooding on the Upper Knockbreda Road leading to Forestside. The Milltown Road and the Hospital Road were impassable and manhole covers on the Belvoir Road and Upper Knockbreda Road were lifting due to heavy rainfall.

Stockmans Lane in Belfast reopened yesterday evening after motorists were earlier advised to avoid the area due to excessive flooding. There were also reports of flooding on the Ballynahinch, Church and Hillsborough Roads which later cleared, while further problems were later reported on the A24 between Carryduff and Saintfield.

It follows weeks of good weather and record temperatures, with weather warnings for extreme heat regularly in place across Northern Ireland.

The Met Office said rain would clear in the east last night and would be followed by showery rain on Wednesday.

The Met Office said today would be “a rather cloudy day with showery outbreaks of rain, some possibly heavy and thundery, but drier and brighter in the far north. Feeling cooler than of late. Maximum temperature 18C.”

Towards the latter end of the week, there’s the chance of a few showers on Thursday and Friday but it will be followed by dry and bright weather on Saturday, with sunny spells also expected.

Another deluge is expected across parts of the UK, with as much as 80mm of rain set to fall in some areas.

Yesterday, the Met Office issued yellow weather warnings for much of Wales and northern England, and an amber weather warning for Scotland.

But while heavy showers will continue throughout the week, meteorologists said sunny spells will break through the gloom.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said: "Yellow warnings are in place across much of the UK, away from the south, for thunderstorms and heavy rain over the coming days.



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