Severe flooding in Newcastle and Newry in County Down
- 6 July 2012
- From the section Northern Ireland
Torrential rain has led to severe flooding in parts of County Down.
In Newcastle, Mourneview Road was under 18 inches of water. Down District Council has opened its centre on the promenade for those needing shelter.
A woman was rescued by firefighters in Castlewellan after she became trapped in her car by flood water.
Police said the Drumbanagher Road in Poyntzpass near Newry was closed after part of a boundary wall was "swept away" by flood water.
They have also advised motorists to avoid Shimna Road in Newcastle and Hilltown Road in Newry.
A PSNI spokeswoman added the Lidl supermarket in Newcastle had also been flooded.
Down District Council has declared an emergency in the area. It has distributed sandbags to residents.
Northern Ireland Water also said its workers are on site in Newcastle responding to flooding calls.
Newcastle SDLP councillor Carmel O'Boyle said flood water was "several feet deep" in some areas of the town.
Petra Ruddy, from Bleary in Craigavon, is holidaying at a caravan park in Newcastle.
She said the park had flooded by about 08.30 BST on Thursday and while the caravans had so far escaped damage she was afraid of what would happen if the rain returned.
"The sky is very grey with heavy clouds - I'd be worried if the rain comes back - we couldn't cope if the water gets any higher," she said
Sinn Fein councillor Stephen Burns said on Twitter that flooding "has caused sewage problems at Burrendale Park and Dundrum Road, Newcastle".
His Alliance colleague Patrick Clarke said the situation in the town was "horrendous".
"It would appear no lessons have been learnt from what happened in Belfast last week," he said.
"Representatives on the ground from the water and roads service are working hard to resolve the situation, but people have found difficulties in using the floodline to report problems, which is absolutely unacceptable," he said.
Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Executive has announced a series of measures aimed at mitigating the impact of flooding.
It said projects costing more than £10m are being accelerated to improve infrastructure at Sicily Park in south Belfast, along the Loop River in east Belfast and in Cushendall, north Antrim.
A major upgrade is also planned for the Flooding Incident Line call centre to ensure more calls can be handled.