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Heavy rain causes widespread flooding in parts of Cork and Belfast
Updated: 08:00, Thursday, 28 June 2012
Heavy overnight rain has led to serious flooding in parts of Cork and Belfast.
The worst affected areas in Cork are on the outskirts of the city at Douglas village which is under a metre of water and 3,000 people have no power.
Flooding is severe In Togher, the Kinsale road, the South Ring road, the Viaduct on the south side of the city and at Ballyhooley Road on the north side. There is no access in or out of Clonakilty.
Elsewhere, torrential rain across Northern Ireland has left many places under water with further downpours forecast today.
The worst affected areas are in east and south Belfast, where some roads remain impassable because of flood water, abandoned cars and debris.
An Post has said that that they are experiencing difficulties delivering post nationwide.
The fire service brought in pumps and the environment agency handed out sandbags to home owners.
An Post have advised that all deliveries to Cork city centre and the south side of the city have been delayed.
An Post staff have been unable to get into the sorting office in Togher due to the flooding.
Flooding has also been reported in parts of Counties Sligo and Tipperary. Motorists in Tipperary are being advised that there is surface water on the M8 motorway between junctions 11 and 12.
Met Éireann has said that around 50mm of rain fell last night but in some areas up to 70mm may have fallen.
Forecaster Evelyn Cusack said the rain is continuing to clear northwards and “the worst is over on a widespread nature"
Ms Cusack has said that June 2012 is the wettest on record.
The ESB is operating an emergency helpline for people experiencing problems with electricity. The number is 1850 372 999.
(Send your pictures of today's flooding to [email protected])
Story from RTÉ News:
28 June 2012 Last updated at 08:37
Belfast floods: Rescue services deal with 700 flood calls
The Fire and Rescue Service has dealt with more than 700 flood-related call-outs in greater Belfast following a series of heavy downpours on Wednesday.
At the height of the flooding, many roads were impassable and about 1,000 homes were left without power.
By 07:00 GMT on Thursday, most of the main roads in east and south Belfast were passable with care.
However, a Met Office amber warning remains in place and there is a risk of further flooding later.
A yellow warning, the lowest level of warning, advises the public to "be aware" of adverse weather conditions, while amber urges people to "be prepared".
The highest level warning, red, means that action should be taken.
The fire service said it had put extra resources in place. However, the service has urged people to avoid ringing the 999 service "unless there is an imminent life risk".
Northern Ireland Water said it received 2,800 calls on Wednesday evening.
Roads affected on Thursday:
- Stewartstown Road is closed between Dairy Farm and Twinbrook road.
- A landslide in Lisburn's Brokerstown Road area has reduced traffic to one lane.
- A manhole cover has lifted in Summerhill Road, Dunmurry, opposite Chestnutt Park.
- Other roads reduced to one lane in Lisburn include Belsize Road, North Lisburn Feeder Road and Derriaghy Road. Mullaghcarton Road in Lisburn is blocked due to debris and flooding.
- Roads passable with care in Belfast include: Knock Road; Upper Knockbreda Road/Cregagh Road; Hillhall Road; Stewartstown Road/Twinbrook Road; Castlereagh Road/Loopland Park; Milltown Road/Belvoir Road; Stockmans Lane; Blacks Road under M1 Bridge; Milltown Road / Belvoir Road; Prince William Road/Lisburn North Feeder Road.
Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy accepted the weather conditions were exceptional but said the "flood line did not perform as it should have performed".
He said there were "serious questions" to be answered.
The Fire and Rescue Service said it had put extra resources in place. However, the service urged people to avoid ringing the 999 service "unless there is an imminent life risk".
SDLP MLA Conal McDevitt said parts of south Belfast had been a "scene of devastation" on Wednesday night.
He said although it was an exceptionally bad night, he criticised both Northern Ireland Water and the Roads Service and said they had been "caught off guard"
"The response was totally inadequate, the call handling facility collapsed," he said.
However, Sara Venning of Northern Ireland Water has defended its response.
"Across Northern Ireland and across Belfast the NI Water infrastructure was operational," she said.
"So this flooding did not occur because of equipment failure, this flooding occurred because of extremes of weather conditions."
A police spokeswoman said motorists should not travel unless absolutely necessary.
She added: "As water continues to subside motorists forced to abandon vehicles last night as a result of flooding can arrange to have them collected."
Belfast City Council has implemented its emergency response plan.
From 09:00 BST on Thursday, it will operate a free phone advice line on 0800 707 6965 for people living in Belfast whose homes have been flooded.
The fire service said that between 19:00 and 22:00 BST on Wednesday it was receiving a call on average every 20 seconds.
Chief Fire Officer Chris Kerr said "My officers are currently deployed at a wide range of emergency incidents involving flooding, and they have rescued and removed a large number of people in difficult conditions."
He added: "Sadly, on arrival at many of these incidents we are finding considerable damage to residential and commercial property, and scenes of public distress.
"I can assure the public that NIFRS have the capacity and resources to sustain our response to what we envisage will be a protracted operation."
The coastguard and RNLI were also enlisted to help out in the operation.
First Minister Peter Robinson said Northern Ireland's infrastructure needed to improve.
"This is soul destroying for the people who have been affected," he said.
"This is the kind of weather we can expect year on year and I think we need to have the kind of infrastructure that's going to deal with it.
"That will require very significant funding. It will require the executive to look at its priorities but I think a very strong case can be made."
BBC Northern Ireland reporter Mervyn Jess said some streets in east Belfast had been "turned into rivers" on Wednesday evening.
"The water has been rolling down in torrents from the Castlereagh hills, coming down the Ballygowan Road to the junction with the Castlereagh Road and the Knock dual carriageway," he said.
"Some parts are basically like a lake."
In Cushendall, County Antrim, the sudden rain saw Mill Street under several inches of water which poured into local shops and businesses.
Restaurant owner Paddy McLaughlin said: '"Just about teatime the heavens opened, the water poured down and inside of about 20 minutes the drains just couldn't take water.
"The whole street outside was flooded - there've been quite a number of businesses affected here in Mill Street."
BBC Northern Ireland
Flooding, power cuts reported around Ireland following heavy rainfall
Flooding in the Douglas Village area of Cork city this morning
FLOODING HAS BEEN reported in local areas around the country – with water levels rising so high in parts of Northern Ireland that motorists were forced to abandon their cars last night.
AA Roadwatch has said that Co Cork is the worst-affected area so far following severe rain overnight. It is urging motorists to slow down, increase their braking distance and use dipped headlights to improve visibility.
The suburbs in Cork are affected, with routes impassable in Douglas, Glanmire and Greenmount, as well as flooding reported around Killens on the N20/Mallow Road at Blackpool; the N71/GBandon Road by the Viaduct; the South City Link road by Turner’s Cross; and all aroutes around Clonakilty.
In Tipperary, the M8 Dublin/Cork road is flooded between J11 Cahir South and J12 Mitchelstown North, the AA says. It advises motorists to take extreme care while driving this road, which has not been closed as of yet.
Flooding has also been reported in Waterford on the N25/Cork road; the N55/Ballymahon Road in Westmeath; the N65 Portumna/Loughrea road in Galway; the N69 Limerick/Listowel road; the M7 Dublin/Limerick road between J9 Naas North and J11 the M9; and a number routes in the Belfast area.
More details can be found on the AA website.
Gardaí are advising motorists about the following roads in Cork:
- City Centre in Cork – is passable.
- Douglas – passable, heavy traffic and water is subsiding
- Blackpool – both sides of the Church impassable
- Mallow Road – passable
- Sarfields Roundabout – impassable
- Viaduct – a stop & go system is in operation
- Glanmire – impassable
Gardaí are advising all motorists to drive slowly and carefully in these conditions.
Cork Civil Defence has been tweeting videos and photographs of flooding in Cork, with one person sending in a video of water streaming into a building.
Meanwhile, motorists in Northern Ireland were forced to abandon their cars last night.
One Cork resident sent us photographs of flooding in Douglas Village, in Cork City:
Met Eireann says this morning that “a band of heavy rain, with embedded thunderstorm activity and hail, will continue to move northwards this morning producing further flooding”.
There will be drier weather and some sunny spells but there will be scattered thundery showers as well.
Rivers burst their banks
According to Newstalk, Met Eireann said that 15mm of rain fell in Cork overnight, and because three times the average rainfall had already fallen in the city, rivers burst their banks.
Clonakilty has been described on Newstalk by a local as “devastated”, with no access into or out of the town due to the flooding.