Coast Road ‘dangerous for drivers’ after Storm Jonas flooding, warns councillor

The Coast Road at Carnlough flooded with a foot of water on Tuesday January 26 due to a high tide and strong winds whipped up by Storm Jonas. INLT-04-707-con

The Coast Road at Carnlough flooded with a foot of water on Tuesday January 26 due to a high tide and strong winds whipped up by Storm Jonas. INLT-04-707-con

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A Carnlough councillor is calling for the sea defences around the village to be built up after the Coast Road flooded today (Tuesday January 26) due to high seas and winds whipped up by Storm Jonas.

Sinn Fein Councillor James McKeown told the Times that the road is lying under a foot of water, as well as sand, seaweed and rocks which have been tossed onto the road by the waves.

Cars driving through the flooded Coast Road in Carnlough. INLT-04-708-con

Cars driving through the flooded Coast Road in Carnlough. INLT-04-708-con

The elected representative described the situation as “dangerous for drivers” and said that the road had flooded several times since the New Year.

“The Coast Road comes through the centre of Carnlough and it is in a dangerous state due to a lot of flooding, sea weed and stones thrown up by the high tide and the wind,” stated Cllr McKeown.

“It was the same with the last storm. The waves wash up against the wall, which gives an element of protection to part of the road, but as you go through the village there are only the railings and it’s very dangerous.

“It affects the section from the garage right across to the chapel.

Sea water and seaweed cover the Coast Road at Carnlough. INLT-04-709-con

Sea water and seaweed cover the Coast Road at Carnlough. INLT-04-709-con

“I would advise people not to drive through it.”

Cllr McKeown said that part of the problem was the drainage system on the road.

“So much sand and debris comes over that the drains can’t handle it,” he continued.

“It’s something I spoke to the Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Anne Donaghy about last year.

“The council is going to have to sit down with the Roads Service, Transport NI and the council to do something about it.

“I want the sea defences ramped up for health and safety reasons to protect anyone driving along that road”.

In addition to reinforcing the sea wall, Cllr McKeown said that Carnlough’s promenade needs “a real facelift” as he believes it is also unsafe.

“I think it is quaint and old-fashioned, it’s not safe and there is going to have to be something put in place to stop this, especially with the severe weather which we have been experiencing for the past two or three years,” he said.

“According to weather forecasters this flooding is going to happen more and more.

“This is the second or third time since the New Year that it has happened.

“The situation with the Coast Road and Carnlough Promenade was one of the first things I brought up with the new supercouncil’s Chief Executive last year, but at the minute other areas in the borough are getting more attention, like the Gobbins.

“In my opinion there shouldn’t just be a focus on new attractions.

“We have the Coast Road and there are other councils which would die for that facility, it should be one of our tourism highlights so we should invest in it and promote it,” he concluded.

A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council told the Times that Transport NI are dealing with the flooding and that “sea defences affecting roads are their responsibility.”