Floods cause 'apocalyptic' scenes in Downpatrick

Dozen of businesses have been decimated by flooding in Downpatrick.

The Co Down town is among the worst affected areas, with businesses and homes deluged by up to five feet of flood water.

And the situation made worse by the that fact authorities say little can be done to alleviate the problem until Friday.

The Department for Infrastructure says that is because of water levels in a local river still being too high, as of Thursday evening.

The flooding misery has continued despite Northern Ireland avoiding the worst of Storm Ciaran, with counties Armagh and Down hardest hit.

Footage of the Newcastle Road in Kilkeel showed how part of the road and footpath has actually caved in, creating dangerous conditions for both walkers and road users.

Meanwhile residents in Portadown are continuing to deal with flooding.

Football pitches are covered as well as a supermarket car park now being completely underwater.

The Armagh Observatory has confirmed Northern Ireland had the wettest October on record.

Records date back to 1838 - and you have to go back as far as 1870 to find an October as wet as the one just gone.

Despite a drier start to November, Northern Ireland is still very much feeling the effects of heavy rain at ground level.

A statement from the Infrastructure Department said: "The Department, along with Newry Mourne and Down Council, met with local businesses and elected representatives in Downpatrick today to advise them on the problems associated with the removal of floodwater in Market Street and the potential solution.

"We have been working with Council and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service to devise a plan for pumping water over long distances, using high-volume pumps.

"The operation is set to commence once river water levels are low enough.

"We couldn’t do this today because it would have resulted in water flowing back to Market Street due to high river levels at present.

"Whilst there have been some indications of floodwaters increasing slightly in Downpatrick, water levels in the Quoile River have peaked and have begun to fall from early morning.

"The precise timing of the operation cannot be provided due to the unique nature of the task and the dependence on falling river levels.

"We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to manage the situation."

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