Saturday 16 August saw the heaviest downpour of rain in the whole of Northern Ireland for quite a while. Newcastle was particularly badly hit, around eighty people had to be evacuated overnight as floodwaters rose and entered their homes. The road outside our development pretty much disappeared:
It is a surreal experience to see a lifeboat being driven around a town to be launched at various places to rescue people from a cul-de-sac.
The strange thing is, we were in the house all day, thinking, “That’s a lot of rain”. We went for a walk when it stopped, to take pictures of the river and sea only to discover the trauma that other people were going through. How often do we miss the pain of others because we’re not looking in the right place, or we’re not there at all?
And where is God in all of this? I believe he walks with us through our ‘trials and tribulations’… At the end of the day he gave a sign to the town that the ordeal was over – red sky at night: shepherds’ and all of our delight – no more rain for a while.
What incredible beauty in the midst of turmoil! God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Allow me to take a moment to thank the personnel of the Police, Fire, Mountain Rescue, Ambulance, Coastguard and Council services. They worked hard throughout the night to keep Newcastle safe. We went to bed secure in the knowledge that they were keeping an eye things.
Lift me up – Flood