Northern Ireland

Belfast floods: Residents clearing up after ordeal

Homeowners and businesses are beginning a massive clear-up after the torrential rain on Wednesday night.

The worst affected areas were in greater Belfast, but parts of counties Down and Antrim were also hit during the deluge.

Maura McConville of Lagmore, west Belfast, said her neighbours spent four hours using shovels and brushes to clear away mud and water.

"It was really terrible last night," she said.

"From seven o'clock to 11 o'clock last night we were waist-deep in sewerage water," she said.

Image caption Flooding damaged the bedroom of Susan Elliott's severely disabled son Kyle

"The banks of the river broke. We phoned the emergency services but no-one would come out to help us.

"We opened manholes to clear them of muck, brushed the water away into the gratings."

In east Belfast, flood waters poured into the downstairs bedroom of 16-year-old Kyle Elliott, who is severely disabled.

His mother Susan said: "His medical stuff on the floor, food and nappies were all ruined.

"If it was just ourselves we could deal with it, but we just have to rally round Kyle and get him a dry and comfortable place to sleep.

"I was crying when I saw the water coming in through the kitchen. I lifted the wee lad and brought him upstairs, then just started trying to lift stuff and protect as much of the property as I could."

'Heavens opened'

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."

Paula Brown said she had to try several different routes before she completed her journey from Belfast City Airport to her home in Dunmurry.

"I travelled over to collect my husband and bring him home. I had to try five different routes.

"The journey normally takes 20 minutes, but last night it took an hour and 50 minutes."

Ms Brown said the first four roads she tried were either flooded or blocked by fallen trees or vehicles involved in collisions.

"In the end, I managed to get home by, ironically enough, River Road in Derriaghy, which, despite its name, was not flooded."

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