Northern Ireland news

Flooding closes M1 and causes problems on roads

Suzanne McGonagle
27 January, 2016 11:49

A CO Down man has described how he has faced flooding misery for the fourth time in the past month as the tail-end of Storm Jonas caused problems across the north.

Martin Sloan said water was "coming up our path like a stream" at his Annsborough home as heavy rain came down during the early hours of Wednesday. The water came to within four inches of the front doors of the row of bungalows.

"When I got up to look at 6am, the water was coming up our path like a stream," he said.

"I immediately contacted my neighbour and started putting sandbags out, but then it was getting worse so we had to call the Fire Brigade.

"Only for them, they have saved our homes again. The water is basically four inches from the front door."

But Mr Sloan said they had received "good news" yesterday that a flood defence wall is to be built near their homes within weeks.

"It's a step forward which will hopefully provide security for us, reassure us this won't happen every time there's heavy rain," he added.

Several areas across the north were affected by flooding yesterday as the remnants of Storm Jonas, which blanked the east coast of the US in snow, swept in.

Heavy rainfall caused a landslide at the A2 Belfast Road at Whitehead point, while a numbers of roads were closed in Downpatrick, Newry and Warrenpoint.

Part of the M1 Belfast to Dublin Road was closed southbound for a time near Jonesborough, but was later re-opened.

Meanwhile, flood hit roads across the north, in particular Co Fermanagh, are set to benefit from a funding boost of more than £1 million from the Northern Ireland Executive to the Department for Regional Development.

Transport minister Michelle McIlveen said "programmes of work to raise key roads and to carry out local drainage works" will be done.

"This is to help ensure that, in the event of future flooding of the scale seen over the last two months, roads will remain passable, avoiding the need for lengthy diversions," she said.

An allocation of £625,000 will be spent on key roads in Co Fermanagh impacted by flooding.

"These roads will all be raised and, in addition, a number of other local schemes will be carried out to deal with areas where localised flooding cuts off the local community from schools, churches and shops," Ms McIlveen added.

She said drainage improvements will also be carried out in Armagh, Dungannon, Downpatrick, Newry and Banbridge, including a scheme to address flooding on the A1.

On Wednesday in Co Down the Ballyduggan Road was flooded at the Racecourse Road, Downpatrick, but passable with care, as was the Ardglass Road at Ballee Road.

In Warrenpoint the Mound Road and Greenan Roads are closed, as is the Ferryhill Road in Cloughoge.

In Co Armagh the Ballygasey Road in Loughgall is blocked by a fallen tree while in Co Antrim the A2 Belfast Road at Whitehead point is passable with care after heavy rain caused a landslide.

Part of the M1 Belfast to Dublin Road were closed southbound for a time before junction 20 in Jonesborough, Co Armagh.

School buses and morning commuters travel through flooded roads around Castlewellan, Co Down


27 January, 2016 11:49 Northern Ireland news