Awoke from snooze to find Ballycastle house flooded

Flooding at Ballycastle bowling Green. PICTURE STEVEN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA
Flooding at Ballycastle bowling Green. PICTURE STEVEN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

A householder having a Sunday afternoon snooze awoke in shock to find his home under a foot of water as flash floods hit Ballycastle.

And according to neighbours the man’s wife and daughter were due to return home on Monday to a scene of devastation following a holiday in America.

The householder, Brendan Bailey, was not present at his soaked home on Sunday night and could not be contacted but neighbour Karen Rooney said the sudden deluge caught residents out.

“There was a foot of water in his house and he had to move his car, it was about to go into his car. It was about 3cms from coming into my home. We were down with towels to help him clean up and his wife and daughter are due home on Monday and they don’t know.

“I was in helping him. We have managed to get all the water out.

“It was unbelieveable, scary. I am here about 13 years and have never had anything like that. Brendan was sitting in the chair sleeping and it was one of the neighbours who gave him a wee shout. He wakened up in a bit of a panic and was hanging out the window looking out and his son pulled up then and they phoned the Fire Brigade to get them pumped out. He had dozed off he didn’t know what was going on.”

Elsewhere in Ballycastle, the heavy rains led to a part of the Drumavoley Road collapsing leaving an eight foot hole near a bridge.

Taxi driver Ronnie Craig lives nearby and he said people are now faced with a lengthy detour to get into the town centre with the road closed.

He said his garden was badly damaged by the floods.

Fire Service Group Commander David Heyburn said they received reports of four houses - two in Fairhead View and two at Fairhill Street - being flooded and they had helped pump out water at Fairhead View.

Roads officials distributed sandbags to houses.

Also in Ballycastle, ice cream shop staff had to ditch cone sales as they battled to stop their premises flooding as thunder storms and heavy downpours hit Northern Ireland on Sunday afternoon.

Flooding occurred at North Street following a cloudburst.

Moira Molloy said she and four other members of staff at Morelli’s ice cream shop battled with mops and brushes to brush water back out their door.

“Water came in but we were able to brush it out. We didn’t have to close and we were ok, we were still in action. It was really bad but it has calmed down,” she said.

At the nearby Maud’s ice cream shop, manager Emma Mooney said: “We are lucky that we are on a hill and the water flowed down past us. At the Marine Hotel corner the water was up to the top of the tyres of cars.

“It started around 3pm and only stopped around 5.30pm. We had thunder and lighting for two and a half hours. People came in to us for shelter. I have never seen it as bad as this and I have been working here for ten years.”

The Marine Hotel stayed open and no water got into the premises.

The ladies toilets did have to close however as water backed up.