UK Weather: Met Office issues flood warnings
Mass evacuations continue across the North West of England this morning as river levels remain dangerously high and more bad weather is forecast. Cheshire Constabulary confirmed around 100 people were assisted and forced to flee their homes this morning due to the heavy rain. Care home residents in Northwich were pictured being helped onto rubber dinghies by firefighters and an additional four people were rescued in nearby Farndon.
The threat of widespread flooding remains severe despite Storm Christoph accelerating towards Scandinavia.
The Environment Agency has enforced 182 flood warnings and 176 less serious flood alerts still in place in England, as of 5am.
Across Wales, 13 flood warnings and 27 flood alerts remain in place and four flood alerts in Scotland.
One severe flood warning, meaning there is a danger to life, has been issued for the River Dee at Farndon.
The Environment Agency warns “flooding of property is imminent” with river levels are expected to peak at 10 metres later today.
They said: “This Severe Warning has been issued because river levels are rising at the Farndon river gauge as a result of Storm Christoph.
“Consequently, flooding of property is imminent. We believe there is a possibility of flooding for properties along the English River Dee in Farndon.
“We expect river levels to peak between 9.5-10 meters later this afternoon going into this evening.”
Storm Christoph smashed large parts of the North of England over the past 48-72 hours, with more than a months’ worth of rainfall in Cleveland, North Yorkshire.
Residents in the Greater Manchester, Merseyside and North Wales area, have been some of the worst affected by the swirling winds and torrential downpours.
Authorities had feared local rivers – including the Didsbury basin – would overflow and burst its banks.
More than 2,000 properties were evacuated overnight on Wednesday and into Thursday morning across Greater Manchester.
Environment Secretary confirmed more than 70 homes succumbed to the heavy rains and were flooded.
In nearby Warrington, dramatic aerial pictures also emerged of the whole town submerged by water.
Widespread flooding had seen water levels rise up to knee-height and emergency crews were captured using rubber dinghies to help people to safety.
Large parts of the North of England were sparred more destruction on Thursday afternoon as Storm Christoph had centred on parts of Oxfordshire – with 31mm recorded in Bicester.
The second highest amount of rain fall was seen in Aberdeenshire with 29mm.
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Environment Secretary George Eustice chaired a Cobra meeting in response to the flooding.
Speaking this morning, Mr Eustice described the flooding as a “real tragedy”.
He explained vital flood defences had saved around 26,000 homes, but expressed concerns of river levels in Yorkshire.
Mr Eustice told BBC breakfast: “If you look at this latest episode, we have had around 70 homes that have been flooded and that is a real tragedy for those.
“It is incredibly disruptive when people have their homes flooded but around 26,000 homes have been protected from the various flood defence assets we have had in place.
“We have got 600 people on the ground putting up temporary barriers, using pumps in areas of Manchester where there were particular flood challenges.”
He added: “We are particularly monitoring the situation in Yorkshire as the water moves through those river systems and, of course, preparing as well for next week where later next week more rain is expected.”
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