Localised flooding forces shop closures

Flooding outside the Asda store in Ballyclare. Pic by Love Ballyclare.
Flooding outside the Asda store in Ballyclare. Pic by Love Ballyclare.

Torrential rain and thunder storms caused disruption for motorists and businesses across east Antrim on Saturday.

During the worst of the weather, a number of premises were forced to close for a time due to flooding and health and safety concerns, while road users faced poor visibility and travel delays.

Thousands of properties across the region were also without electricity with engineers from NI Electricity Networks working to fix the issues throughout the evening.

Asda Larne was closed to the public between 4pm and 5.30pm, while in nearby Ballyclare, the Park Street branch was closed from 3pm until 5pm.

An Asda spokesperson said: “There was no serious damage at either site. It’s been a case of business as usual, with customers able to do their shop as they normally would, since the stores opened again after those short closures.”

Meanwhile, the ever-popular raft race organised by County Antrim Yacht Club as part of Whitehead Festival was rescheduled from Saturday to Sunday over safety concerns.

A club spokesperson said: “Organisers have reviewed the risks and with safety concerns have taken the decision to reschedule this event to July 29. We apologise for any inconvenience, but the safety of all participants is paramount.”

Mid and East Antrim Council said none of its facilities experienced flooding during the heavy rain and all remained open. But added: “One event at Eden Allotments was called off because of heavy rain, more due to expected poor attendance than for flooding.”

Police took to social media to advise motorists to be careful on the roads following the rain.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “If you’re driving anywhere tonight (Saturday), and I would only do so if absolutely necessary, please take care. Although the Antrim coast doesn’t seem as badly affected as other areas, there is a lot of localised flooding. Take road conditions into account and if unsure about the depth of any standing water, turn back and find an alternative route.”