Portstewart Promenade still closed to traffic after flash flooding

Portstewart promenade remains closed to traffic, but is due to reopen by this Friday after flash flooding at the weekend caused serious damage to the road surface on the busy seaside street.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 1:11 pm
Damage caused to Portstewart promenade on Sunday night after flash flooding

Thunderstorms brought heavy downpours on Sunday afternoon, causing water to surge up through the tarmac and drivers were forced to turn around to avoid huge pools water.

Social media footage showed overflowing drains struggling to cope with the deluge of water at around tea-time.

Police officers moved in quickly to evacuate the area and close the road to further traffic.

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Damian Morelli of Morelli’s in Portstewart was in his ice cream parlour at the time and witnessed the downpour.

He said: “It happened around 6pm. There was a big heavy thunderstorm. There was a lot of water running down the promenade and then it seemed to back up.

“Apparently there’s a storm drain that runs under the promenade, right opposite our place and right out to sea. That had backed up with the volume of water and it either fractured or a joint had split, therefore water had just come up to the surface and caused the first three or four inches of the concrete to lift up in several different places.

“The police came down and decided to close the whole promenade off and make all the businesses close unfortunately, on what was a very busy day. Literally at 8pm the sun was out and the road was dry.”

Mr Morelli said his shop was very busy yesterday: “People are coming down for a look, I guess.”

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Cllr Richard Holmes, thanked agencies for their quick response.

“Appreciation to all those who came out. The police were on hand very quickly. I spoke to engineers from DFI on Sunday evening on the prom. NI Water was on site for a good part of the night. They had CCTV cameras in the drains and are happy with the drains. A manhole that had a water surge coming through it has been fixed.

“Portewart is jam-packed with tourists at the minute and we want it to be open for people.”

The walkway is currently open, but the road is closed to all but deliveries. The PSNI said the road is expected to reopen to traffic by Friday.