Power outages and homes evacuated amid major flooding in north of England

Dec 28, 2015, 00:06
Power outages and homes evacuated amid major flooding in north of England

Heavy rain has caused more flooding in northern England, with homes evacuated in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and rivers overflowing in Manchester and Leeds.

Fifteen severe flood warnings - meaning that there is a danger to life - have been issued for the North East and North West by the Environment Agency (EA) as forecasters said up to 4.7ins (120mm) of rain could fall in some areas already saturated by wave after wave of winter squalls.

David Cameron chaired a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee on Sunday, discussing the catastrophe with cabinet ministers, military and transport bosses, emergency services leaders and the Environment Agency.

Further rain is expected Sunday, although it is not expected to be as severe as the damage caused by Storm Eva on Saturday.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service warned people to stay away from the Whalley and Ribchester areas.

We're still in a situation with major flood warnings.

Chris Fox, systems manager for Electricity North West, said: "The flooding has meant that we can't access a number of substations to assess the damage, so we're warning customers that it may be Monday before we can restore some supplies".

"My thoughts are with people whose homes have been flooded".

In Summerseat near Bury, a 200-year-old former pub on a bridge over the River Irwell collapsed due to the river flooding yesterday afternoon.

The Prime Minister has promised to send more troops to "do whatever is needed" to help people in large swathes of northern England stricken by floods. Theirs is a nightmare which will last for many months as they begin the thankless task of repairing properties which suffered untold damage when rivers burst their banks, and breached defences where they exist, after rising to record levels. Rescue crews have been using boats to help remove people from their homes.

Flood alerts were issued across Greater Manchester where police chiefs told residents to "protect your property by elevating valuable and sentimental items".

If only the same could be said for the Government's response to this crisis - and previous incidents of flooding.

The Army and specialist emergency flood units earlier this week were called in to rescue the elderly including a care home in Croston, Lancashire.

Todmorden in West Yorkshire has also been hit with waters continuing to rise as the rain keeps falling.

- Avenham and Miller Park and Moor Park were left looking like lakes after hours of heavy flooding.

The "red" warnings issued by the Meteorological office stated that "very severe weather conditions are expected", adding that there is need to "take action to remain safe and protect property".

Engineers have restored power to more than 20,000 homes, but nearly 6,000 remain without electricity and may not be reconnected until Monday. "We would ask people who do not need to travel to York, Selby and Selby district to delay their visit until the flood risk has passed". "We have never seen this before, '" Stewart told BBC Radio.

"There is still a lot of work to be done in some areas so this phase may take some time but the emergency services and local authorities will continue to work tirelessly to help those affected by the floods".

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