Published Monday, 24 September 2012
Heavy rain and gale force winds across parts of Northern Ireland (© Pacemaker)
A statement from the Roads Service urged motorists to take "extreme care" if they are driving on Monday evening and overnight.
Surface water is affecting a number of routes in Co Antrim.
Cloughwater Road in the Ballymena area has been closed between the Lisnacrogher Road and Dunbought Road, after a river burst its banks.
Diversions will remain in place until the morning. Police advised motorists to avoid the area.
There is also flooding on the A57 Ballyclare Road, Templepatrick, around its junction with the Ballymartin Road - meanwhile Moyle District Council said run-off from fields has contributed to excess water on the Glenshesk Road between Armoy and Ballycastle.
Both are said to be passable with care.
A Met Office amber weather warning came into effect at 3pm and will stay in place until 6am on Tuesday.
Rainfall of 25-40mm is expected to fall during that period, but there is the potential for 60-80mm to fall in places, with the heaviest rain expected over Co Antrim.
The even heavier rain that is approaching will make driving conditions more difficult particularly with the earlier nights and given the tragedy of three road deaths in the last 24 hours.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood called on drivers to be "particularly vigilant".
He said: "I am urging drivers and road users to be particularly vigilant over the next 12 hours, to slow down, wear seat belts and show care."
Rivers Agency staff were put on 'flood alert' in response to the amber warning.
Engineers and technical officers have been on the ground throughout the day monitoring river levels, ensuring drainage grilles are clear and checking sandbag stores.
"With these very high predicted rainfalls for the higher ground we cannot rule out some river flooding and so we are doing everything we can to mitigate the risk," said Philip Mehaffey, Director of Operations.
"Engineering staff have also been placed on standby for the next 24 hours and will continue overnight to monitor river levels as well as ensuring culvert inlet grilles are clear of all debris.
"There is a risk that with strong winds forecast for overnight, wind-blown debris can block rivers and grills.
"The public are reminded that in the case of a flood it should be reported to the Flooding Incident Line on 0300 2000 100 which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A member of staff will then contact the appropriate agency on your behalf."
In June, flooding across Belfast and north Antrim left many people out of their homes.
Although the weather service advises that the heavy rain could cause localised flooding, John Wylie told UTV this week's rainfall is not expected to be as significant.
"I'm talking about a couple of inches of rain over 21 to 24 hours. Back in June we had a couple of inches of rain in over three hours, so we are not talking about flash flooding, we are talking about surface water accumulating over a long period of time," he said.
"Over the Antrim Hills particularly and the Mournes we could even see as much as three inches, so it's something to watch out for but not to panic about just at the moment."
A warning has been in place for Great Britain since lunchtime on Sunday with prolonged periods of heavy rain across parts of northeast England and southeast Scotland on Monday.
Floodline telephone: 0300 2000 100
In the Republic, Met Éireann issued a weather warning to the general public, as well as a small craft warning to fishermen as winds reached force six or higher throughout the day.
© UTV News
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