‘Worst flooding in years’ disrupts business in Belfast

As many householders and business owners assess the impact of Friday’s flooding across Northern Ireland, the Met Office is warning of further thunderstorms and heavy rain throughout Saturday.

Friday, 6th August 2021, 6:09 pm
Flooding in the docks area of Belfast on Friday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

The downpours are expected to be at their worst later on Saturday afternoon with the yellow warning remaining in place until Saturday night.

One of the worst affected areas was Berry Street at the rear of CastleCourt Shopping Centre, where business owners said ankle-deep flood water entered their premises.

Ann McAloon, from the Absolute Beauty Salon, said she had not witnessed scenes like it in 25 years in business in the area.

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Flooding in Belfast city centre on Friday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

She said: “Within 15 minutes the salon was flooded, we had no way of keeping the water out.

“The traffic was still going up and down so it was making a tidal wave and it was coming in, we could hardly even get the door closed.

“Everything was floating up and down the street. The council have arrived with the sandbags but we could have been doing with them a few hours ago, just to save what we could in the premises.”

Ms McAloon added: “We had clients in at the time, Friday is always our busiest day so we had to cancel all the clients for tomorrow as well, because the place is filthy.

Flooding in Belfast city centre on Friday. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

“The business hasn’t come back up again from the pandemic because a lot of the people are still working from home, we don’t even know where you would start dealing with this.”

In the village of Garrison, Co Fermanagh, the River Roogagh burst its banks placing surrounding footpaths under two feet of water.

Flooding also affected the A5 Beltany Road near Omagh, adjacent to the Mellon Country Hotel, with motorists advised to seek alternative routes yesterday afternoon.

More rain is also expected on Sunday, but Met Office forecasters say it will be “somewhat drier on Monday with fewer showers” and then mainly dry on Tuesday.

Ann McAloon from Absolute Beauty, Berry Street, Belfast. Picture: Jonathan Porter/PressEye