Northern Ireland

Stormont soaked as heavy rain sweeps across the north

Flooding on the Shore Road in North Belfast due to torrential rain. PICTURE MAL MCCANN
Flooding on the Shore Road in North Belfast due to torrential rain. PICTURE MAL MCCANN Flooding on the Shore Road in North Belfast due to torrential rain. PICTURE MAL MCCANN

Stormont was soaked on Thursday as heavy rain swept across the north for nearly 24 hours.

Roads were closed as more than 30mm of rain was recorded at various stations in the 24 hours to 6pm on Thursday, including the seat of the Assembly.

Flooding caused the closure for a number of hours of a stretch of the Shore Road in Newtownabbey, close to the Abbey Centre.

The stretch between Mill and Longwood roads was closed in the early afternoon, then re-opened and closed again due to further flooding.

Flooding near the Short Strand in east Belfast.  PICTURE MAL MCCANN
Flooding near the Short Strand in east Belfast. PICTURE MAL MCCANN Flooding near the Short Strand in east Belfast. PICTURE MAL MCCANN

Drivers reported difficult conditions in various parts of the city, including around the Short Strand. Police in Lisburn and Castlereagh warned of numerous reports of flooded roads.

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The PSNI in the district said: "If out driving please show some consideration for other road users. Slow down, increase the distance between yourself and the vehicle in front and be prepared for the vehicle in front to brake suddenly."

Forecasters had already predicted 30mm of rain, with the heaviest falls in Antrim, Armagh and Down, where a yellow weather warning was in place. 

In the 24 hours to 6pm on Thursday, close to 33mm of rain was recorded at Ballypatrick Forest near Ballycastle, while 31.6mm fell at the Stormont weather station.

Heavy rain of over 30mm was also recorded at Lough Fea near Cookstown and Banagher Forest in Co Derry. 

There was also flooding and road closures in other parts, including the Longshot in Ballyclare, which was closed between the Doagh Road roundabout and Ballypalady Road.

Flooding was also reported on the A22 at Dundonald, the A2 Belfast Road in Holywood, the A6 Antrim Road at Blue Bridge Railway, the Drumgiven Road in Ballynahich, in Castlewellan and the Antrim coast road between Carnlough and Garron Tower.

A rainfall warning was in place from 10am on Thursday and followed a separate weather warning, also for rain, in place overnight on Wednesday.