Blokes fight in wellies and man swims in flooded car park as rain sends town mad

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    A business owner clashed with a council worker on a flooded street just yards from where one brave local took a dip in a submerged car park in a UK city sent mad by heavy rain – and it's due to get worse.

    Newry, close to the border with the Republic of Ireland and split down the middle by counties Down and Armagh, is currently experiencing its worst flooding in 50 years, after a deluge caused the city's canal to burst its banks overnight (Tuesday, October 31).

    Businesses have been forced to close, damage has been inflicted to infrastructure and it shows no signs of abating as Storm Ciaran is expected to wreak havoc from tonight onwards.

    READ MORE: 'Monster' Storm Ciaran heading for UK with 'near-record pressure' and 'danger to life'

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    Water was already at shoulder height in some places and only the canal has burst its banks so far, with locals now fearfully glancing towards the city's river.

    And the stress appears to have gone to Newry residents' heads, as a flurry of strange behaviour has dominated local chatter ever since the rain started.

    As council workers and business owners battled to prepare for worsening weather in the historical town centre, it all appeared to get too much for two blokes who clashed in front on onlookers, including children.

    One man in a high vis and wellies, thought to be a local business owner, is seen in one clip telling what appears to be a council worker to "f*** off" as tensions run high outside his restaurant.

    The response of "no, you f*** off" seemed to rattle him, as he then angrily wades over to the younger man to confront him, before they are separated by a very large man.

    "Break it up, break it up," he repeats, before exclaiming "I said break it up!" and going into bulldozer mode and carrying the restaurant owner to a dry patch where families and other bystanders watched the drama.

    "Take a walk! There's children here," one woman rightly reminds the men as a stroller comes into view.

    "F***ing b****d, making a f***ing laugh of us," the older man shouts towards the worker, clearly unhappy with the council response.

    The flashpoint took place around the Sugar Island part of the city, a historic centre featuring the town hall and several shops and restaurants that have taken the worst of the flooding.

    Mere yards away from this flashpoint jammed between a snooker club and the Riverside Reformed Presbyterian Church one hardy bloke decided to go for a dip in the submerged car park yesterday morning.

    "The Newry pool was closed!" he exclaimed as he paddled out into the car park in his red togs.

    However, some locals werent impressed with his stunt as authorities struggled to manage the disaster and many businesses are faced with closing for months and footing huge repair bills.

    One reporter covering the floods for Northern Irish media wrote on X: "A man swimming in the Newry canal flood water this morning.

    "Emergency crews have enough to be dealing with this morning without people taking unnecessary risks."

    A second local wrote on X: "What do people be thinking. You wouldn't swim in Newry Canal on a good day never mind in floods! The water is contaminated."

    He was also branded a "dirt ball" and another person said: "Anyone who’s ever stood and watched the rats run up and down the side of that canal would probably consider this a mistake…"

    But many viewed it as a display as the famous Newry light-hearted take on a bad situation. And other people took to the streets to have a laugh as the water raged.

    Several people were snapped paddling down the streets of the city centre in small boats where the canal water seems to have merged with flooding on the roads.

    One man was even spotted 'fishing' on the streets in the historical centre.

    But there is a serious aspect to the flooding, of course.

    Train lines and bus services were affected by the weather conditions and local business owners spoke of losing thousands of pounds worth of stock just before the Christmas rush.

    On Tuesday evening, police urged the public to avoid the canal and the river "due to the hazardous conditions caused by high water levels and the fast flowing current".

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