• Belfast Between The Wars

FLOODING FOLLOWS BELFAST DOWNPOUR: FISH MARKET MENACED

Belfast Telegraph, Friday 7th September 1934


WATER RUSHES INTO HOUSES


SHOWERS FOR PASSERS-BY


Heavy rain falling close to the time of high tide led to flooding in several areas in Belfast this morning, but happily the rain eased off before the floods assumed really serious proportions.


Damage of an extensive character occurred to the wood block roadway between the markets and the Royal Ulster Courts of Justice. Here the rain soaked below the block and caused them to bulge in the centre to the height of about a foot, and for a period it seemed that the rising waters were going to re-claim the fish exposed for sale in the fish market.


The cessation of the rain, however, relieved the possibility and soon business was proceeding with all the briskness characterising a Friday morning at this important market.


The bulged roadway was the centre of attraction for large crowds during the day. That portion of Laganbank Road which extends for about a hundred yards from the railway bridge towards the Albertbridge Road was, as usual, another nasty spot for motorists. The water here had gathered to the depth of about two feet at its deepest part and those motorists who approached it slowly negotiated it without difficulty.

While a “Telegraph” representative was at the scene, however, the driver of a private car apparently misjudged its depth.


He hit the flood at a smart pace and immediately a huge spray of water shot over the bonnet and hood of the car, the engine gave a sputter and stopped dead with the water right up to the running board. In a few minutes the driver was able to re-start his engine and, proceeding slowly, cleared the “water jump.”


Four or five houses on the left side of Connswater Street, off Newtownards Road, suffered rather badly when the street was flooded for a length of between fifty and one hundred yards.


The water rushed into the kitchens to the depth of about six inches, and with the houses sloping towards the back, also flooded the sculleries.


Corporation employees were quickly on the spot, as at the other flooded centres, and the removal of the cover of a manhole in the centre of the street hastened the subsistence of the flood.


The inmates of the houses took their trouble in good part and brushes and buckets were briskly engaged in bailing and sweeping the water back to the street when a “Telegraph” reporter visited the scene.


The footpath was, of course, negotiable at this period and some pedestrians passing the doors of the flooded houses either had to jump quickly or receive what was coming from brush or bucket.


Several were not quick enough and their involuntary soaking provided humour, which relieved an annoying situation for the householders.


One resident of the street said these particular houses had been subject to flooding for the last twenty years, but with the laying of larger sewer pipes and other improvements it was hoped that the trouble had been remedied.


The rain of this morning, however was abnormal and upset the best calculations.