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Weather: Northern Ireland takes a battering

Winter storms have battered Northern Ireland, bringing gale force winds and widespread flooding.

Up to 18mm of rain had fallen by yesterday morning and continued heavy rain made many roads impassable.

Weather forecaster Meteogroup recorded maximum windspeeds of 64mph at Orlock Point in Co Down, while 18mm of rain had fallen at Glenanne by yesterday morning, 17mm at Katesbridge in Co Down and 15mm at Killowen by noon yesterday.

All ferry crossings between Belfast and Stranraer were cancelled and Roads Service said it was dealing with flooding in the Banbridge, Rathfriland and Craigavon areas after a band of heavy rain swept western Britain.

The Drumgask Road in Lurgan was rendered impassable after a river burst its banks and the Moygannon Road in Rostrevor was closed to traffic because of flooding at Moygannon Bridge.

The Roads Service said it was dealing with bad flooding on the Banbridge to Castlewellan Road and the Moyallen Road in Banbridge.

Rathfriland Road in Dromara and the Rathfriland to Gilford Road were also hit by flooding.

In Craigavon, flooding affected Donaghcloney Village, the Manse Road at Moss Bank Road junction and Crowhill Road.

Ballyregan Road in Dundonald on the outskirts of east Belfast was also affected.

Roads Service said fallen trees had now been removed from roads in the west and these had now been reopened.

“Most roads are passable with care and Roads Service staff are continuing to unblock gullies and help with the clear-up operation,” a spokesman said. Yesterday, P&O Ferries said it had suspended all sailings between Larne and Cairnryan until further notice, but added: “The latest information from the Met Office indicates a moderation in conditions — we therefore anticipate that sailings may resume earlier than originally predicted.

“Passengers are advised not to travel to the port until sailings have resumed.”

Meteogroup said more showery rain would be around overnight, becoming heavy at times and with rumbles of thunder, and continuing this morning.

Forecaster Tom Tobler said: “There is an area of low pressure sitting to the west and that will be around through much of today, bringing further heavy showers at times.

“It will be staying fairly windy with heavy showers around, and possible thunder.

“It will stay mostly dry tomorrow and generally dry through the weekend. There will be rain around but it will be likely to stay further to the south.”

The Consumer Council issued advice on its website about what to do if your electricity fails.

The council’s Aodhan O’Donnell said: “In this kind of weather some people could be without electricity and roads and homes could be flooded.”

Belfast Telegraph