Flooding in Down after heavy rain

Published Friday, 31 January 2014
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Parts of Co Down have experiencing flooding, after heavy rain fell on Friday.

The village of Rostrevor and the seaside town of Newcastle are said to be some of the worst affected areas, with up to a foot of water flowing through the Mourneview Estate in the coastal town.

Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard said the area has been hit by "extreme flooding" and said the water is coming into houses. He said the Twelve Arches area is also bad.

Meanwhile, police have warned that the South Promenade in the town is down to one lane because of floods and that motorists are advised to seek alternative routes.

Drivers should also be careful in the Coney Island area of Ardglass, while roads in Rostrevor and Newtownards which had been closed earlier have now been reopened.

A yellow warning for heavy rain has already been put in place by the Met Office affecting counties Down, Antrim and Armagh lasting overnight. There is a yellow warning for rain, snow and wind on Saturday.

The Rivers Agency is ready to launch precautionary flood prevention measures, particularly in the Sydenham area of east Belfast, at around high tide on Saturday - although the risk is assessed to be less severe than it was during the incident earlier this month.

John Wylie, of the Met Office, said people who are out and about over the weekend should take care and plan ahead for possible weather disruption.

"It's back to wet and windy conditions for much of Northern Ireland today, certainly 15 to 20mm of rain for some parts of the east, strong winds as well," he told UTV.

"We'll be back into a period of high tides so with winds blowing directly onshore some large waves will hit roads and promenades of Co Down and Antrim for a time.

"Things should calm down later this afternoon but tonight brings another problem with wintry showers which could bring localised light snowfall overnight."

The Rivers Agency said it is liaising with the UK Coastal Monitoring & Forecasting (UKCMF) Service about the threat of a tidal surge on Saturday, with the "most critical tide" expected to hit at 11.54am. Recent heavy rainfall is said to have added to the risk.

"As the situation develops Rivers Agency, in conjunction with other responders, will decide what precautionary measures are appropriate," said Pat Aldridge of the Rivers Agency.

"These may include closing Victoria Park, and erecting the flood barrier at the Sydenham underpass. Sandbags will also be deployed as necessary."

The Roads Service has been warning people to exercise extreme caution when travelling on all roads across Northern Ireland on Friday.

Mr Wylie said there could be some surface water flooding.

"Roads will see a lot of surface water during Friday, large puddles and - where the ground is particularly saturated - there could be some minor flooding of country roads," he continued.

"I think it's one of those days where you leave a little bit of extra time for your journey and take little bit of extra care."

The Irish Coastguard is advising members of the public to stay away from the coastline while the severe weather warnings are in place.

The public are being advised not to go out on exposed coasts, cliffs, piers, harbour walls, beaches, promenades or any other coastal areas.

A statement from the coastguard said: "Southerly gales will develop overnight on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish sea, gradually veering southwest to west later tonight and tomorrow and increasing gale to storm force.

"Huge waves can be whipped up by high seas. These waves can pose hazards to anyone close to the shoreline," the statement continued.

© UTV News
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1 Comments
Irene in Mourne wrote (82 days ago):
the roads surrounding Newcastle are often flooded! The stretch of road at the Bloody Bridge is shocking - so dangerous. It'd be good if the council could do something about it before any serious accidents occur.
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