Flooding hits northern England after torrential rain

Posted by on Jun 23, 2012 | Comments Off on Flooding hits northern England after torrential rain

 

 

Torrential rain has caused flooding across large areas of northern England, with some people being forced to leave their homes.

The Environment Agency (EA) has issued nearly 100 flood warnings and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)has five in place.

Some homes in the Lancashire towns of Croston and Darwen were evacuated after nearby rivers burst their banks.

Up to 500 properties flooded overnight in north-west England, the EA said.

A month’s worth of rain has fallen in some parts of the country in the past 24 hours.

The EA mobilised staff across the North West to clear blockages and debris, monitor river levels and operate flood defences alongside emergency services.

At the moment we are an island – all three roads that lead in are flooded”

Andrew EdmundsenCroston pub landlord

EA flood risk manager Pete Fox said Lancashire and West Yorkshire were worst affected by the flooding.

“A small number of people have been evacuated but, by and large, we issue warnings with enough time for people to protect their properties, move upstairs and hopefully minimise the damage,”

He said this month was set to become one of the wettest June’s on record. “Our hearts go out to people who have had flooding, it’s really not nice,” he added.

There are 98 flood warnings in place across northern England and 53 less severe flood alerts covering the North East, North West, the South West and Wales. SEPA has issued nine alerts.

The EA said the local authority in Croston had been distributing sandbags after the River Yarrow burst its banks.

“Croston has been cut off, the roads in and out,” a spokeswoman said.

Andrew Edmundsen, landlord of the local Black Horse pub, said: “At the moment we are an island. All three roads that lead in are flooded. If you’re in you’re in, if you’re out you’re out.”

Flooding in UppertonFlooding in the village of Upperton on Friday

The EA spokeswoman said there had been reports of floods across Oldham, Wigan and near the River Darwen.

Evacuation centres have been set up in Darwen and Bacup. Meanwhile, firefighters were called in to clear floodwater in Wigan, helping three people and a dog away from their properties by boat.

River Calder had burst into the centre of West Yorkshire’s Mytholmroyd, flooding businesses and homes.

The deluge also saw residents of a care home in Todmorden moved to the top floor of the building.

Firefighters in the Yorkshire Dales also had to rescue nine people from three cars following flash flooding on the A684.

Localised flash flooding also hit households in Greater Manchester where water was said to be waist height in some areas.

‘Nasty conditions’

Flooding disrupted a number of train services in the north of England, with buses being used as replacement transport in some instances,according to National Rail.

Meanwhile, the Great North Swim in Cumbria was postponed until Sunday due to strong winds and heavy rain.

Heavy rain turned the Isle of Wight Festival site into a mudbath

John Seymour from the AA’s Special Operations Response Team said it was important people stayed out of the flood waters.

“It’s worth remembering that even if the water is fairly shallow, six inches of water flowing at six miles an hour, if you fall over in that you probably won’t be able to stand up and you’ll be swept downstream.”

The Met Office has severe weather warnings in place for north-west England, the West Midlands, Strathclyde, south-west Scotland, Lothian Borders, Central, Tayside and Fife, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber and Northern Ireland.

It said the rain should clear northwards during Saturday morning before more rain in the afternoon and evening.

Helen Willets said there had been in excess of 100mm of rain in north-west England on Friday, with some “really nasty conditions” still to come.

Festival-goers on the Isle of Wight were expected to see a brighter day after heavy rain on Thursday and Friday left thousands stranded in their cars and unable to get into Seaclose Park.

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