THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Heavy August rains leaves much of the province of Ulster flooded

From the News Letter, August 21, 1889

Friday, 21st August 2020, 6:00 am
Flooded fields at River Bann, Portadown in 2009. Picture: Mavis Hazelton
Flooded fields at River Bann, Portadown in 2009. Picture: Mavis Hazelton

The heavens had opened this week in 1889 according to a report which was carried in the News Letter on this day that year.

From Newry came the following report: “Heavy rain fell here yesterday, accompanied at times by a strong wind. Coming so soon after the very heavy fall on Monday, very considerable damage has been done. All the rivers are overflowing their banks, and the hay and root crops along their banks are submerged in water, and will sustain damage. The corn and wheat crops are laid, and if dry weather does not soon come will be injured to a considerable extent. The weather was very severe yesterday and all outdoor work had to be suspended.”

Another report had been received, this time concerning the conditions at Portadown.

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It read: “Owing to the heavy rains which fell since Monday the Bann at Portadown has overflowed its banks, and the result is that hundreds of acres of land on either side of the river are at present under water. The unfortunate farmers who own land along the valley of the Bann are again sufferers, the crops – hay, oats and potatoes – being rendered almost useless by the floods.”

Meanwhile, some 11 miles away in Armagh the conditions were no better.

A report published in the News Letter on that day stated: “The rain commenced here again yesterday morning and continued all day without intermission. The waters of the Callan are rapidly rising and all low-lying lands are flooded along its entire course.”