Worst floods in 50 years?

I went to visit my grandparents yesterday in Newcastle, County Down with my mum and step dad. Luckily he was driving the new BMW Estate Car rather than my Getz!

We had a lovely dinner and stayed until 5pm. When we left it was still raining. Tried to travel to Belfast via Newcastle but Shimna river had burst it's banks and road was impassable. Tried to get to Dundrum via Bryansford but road was also blocked with lots and lots of water. Then tried to get to Belfast via Newry but Hilltown was impassable as river had burst it's banks. Then went to Rathfriland and onwards to Banbridge. One mile from Banbridge road was impassable with river all over the road. Turned back and tried another route via Dromore and, thankfully, we managed to get onto A1.

Some really close shaves with water over bonnet, roads washed away etc. Eventually got to Belfast but then struggled to get through water in Dunmurry.

If we hadn’t a good geographical knowledge of South Down we would have been stranded.

Got home at 9.30pm when usually get home at about 6pm! Mum and I needed to use a toilet and had to ask some lady living near Hilltown whether we could use her toilet and she obliged. The generosity of people is amazing, with some out trying to clear water when they could have easily sat back and not offered assistance.

My mum is 50 and says she has never seen floods like what we experienced yesterday.

It was, however, the first time I have seen how chelsea tractors can be useful!

When I got home I was able to view scenes of floods across Northern Ireland via BBC News, Flickr and YouTube.

The scenes at Broadway underpass are simply breath taking.

As Wesley Johnston states in an extensive explanation of the Broadway disaster “It could be that this is not the first time we see the Broadway underpass submerged in water and the ensuing chaos”

The ongoing scandal of homes and roads repeatedly flooding must stop with Bangor’s Gransha Road again closed yesterday due to river bursting its banks.

I don’t however hold out much hope with the Environment Minister a self confessed climate change denier who feels these are one off events.

Sunday 17 August 2008