Trains and roads chaos as Storm Christoph brings more rain and snow to region

A night of heavy rain, wind and snow brought travel chaos and disruption to services across the region.

The effects of Storm Christoph were being felt as homes were evacuated, transport services disrupted or cancelled and roads flooded, with as much as 31.2mm of rainfall in some parts of the country.

Rail users across the region were affected by the storm, with services either cancelled or severely disrupted.

Trains were cancelled between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury due to flooding on the line between Shrewsbury and Wellington in Telford, while trains running between Crewe and Stafford were also cancelled.

Rail replacement bus services were in place for both services for most of the morning until work was completed to clear flooding, but with both services running at a reduced speed.

Flooding in Stafford. Photo: @z70photo

The storm also affected services from further afield, with the West Coast mainline experiencing delays between London Euston and Birmingham.

Bus services were also affected due to flooding on the roads, with bus users in Codsall facing delays as the 710 and 10 services were diverted along the roads outside the village.

Road users were affected by flooding at points across the region, with the notorious flooding spot Trescott Ford between Wolverhampton and Bridgnorth experiencing another spell of flooding and traffic advised not to attempt to cross the ford.

Staffordshire Police said: "There has been considerable rain and some snowfall across #Staffordshire with a number of roads flooded and impassable. Please DO NOT be tempted to drive through flood water - it is not worth the risk."

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service warned: "f you do have to drive this morning PLEASE do not attempt to drive through flood water. Our crews have already been called to multiple drivers who thought their vehicles could get through but then broke down & got stranded. There is always another route to take."

Fire crews from Stone, Eccleshall, and Newcastle were been mobilised to a car stuck in flood water, with firefighters advising people do not drive through flood water and ensure that alternative routes are taken if absolutely necessary.

At the National Trust's Shugborough estate, near Stafford, the arboretum and some areas of the gardens were today closed due to flooding due to excessive rainfall and high river levels.

Staffordshire Council said: "Drivers are being reminded to take extra care on the roads as heavy rain and the risk of surface water or river flooding continues to make conditions difficult.

Staffordshire County Council's highways crews received more than 100 reports of flooding on the roads during Wednesday.

Some of the roads affected included Sandon Road and Weston Road in Stafford, Stafford Road in Gnosall, and Yarnfield Lane in Yarnfield.

David Williams, council cabinet member for highways, said: “The heavy and persistent rain we’ve had over the past few days has caused a number of flash flooding incidents right across the county, giving our highways crews a very busy day.

“Whilst most roads remain open, some still remain closed or partially blocked due to the flooding but crews will be working round the clock to keep them clear."

Today was forecast to be chilly again, with a clear and cold star, with sunny spells throughout the day. The Met Office has said the weather in the region will be chilly again, with a clear and cold start, but far less rain than over the preceding few days.

The forecast is for sunny spells throughout the day, running largely dry during the afternoon, but with a chance of a few wintry showers in the west of the region.

It also said that the weather will begin to feel cold with strong winds which will ease during the day, with a maximum temperature of 7 °C.

Through the evening and overnight, it has been forecast that it will remain dry across the region with clear skies and will be a cold night with a frost and a minimum temperature of -2 °C.

The weather will continue to stay frosty, with sunny spells and a chance of wintry showers across the weekend, with a colder feel and a risk of icy stretches leading into Monday.

The Environment Agency has also given nine flood warnings and three flooding alerts across the region.

In Staffordshire, a warning has been issued on the River Penk near Penkridge, an alert on the Rivers Penk and Sow in Stafford, and warnings on the River Trent heading from Great Haywood to Barton-under-Needwood and the River Blithe at Bancroft.

Other alerts have also been issued on the River Severn near Kidderminster and the River Worfe near Burnhill Green.

To keep up to date with flooding warnings and alerts, go to flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings

Parts of Shropshire also saw snow during the night, with Shrewsbury and Telford particularly covered, and 11 flood warnings were put in place across the River Severn, Rriver Teme and Leitwardine and Walford.

The flood water had already reached Clun, with the river there bursting its banks, and roads leading through the county were hit by flooding, with the A483 between Berriew and Welshpool closed and parts of the A5 and A41 badly affected.

Storm Christoph's effect was felt across other parts of the country, with residents in the East Didsbury, West Didsbury and Northenden areas of Greater Manchester told to leave their homes on Wednesday night because of rising water levels.

People were also asked to leave their homes in parts of Ruthin and Bangor-on-Dee in North Wales and Maghull in Merseyside amid flood warnings.

Flood basins in place on the river Mersey in Didsbury managed to keep properties in the area dry overnight, but severe flood warnings remain in place for the area.

They also remain in place at Farndon, Heatley and Little Bollington, with more than 370 flood warnings and alerts in place across the country.

In Wales, emergency crews worked through the night to prevent an industrial estate where a crucial part of the manufacture of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine takes place from being damaged by flood water.

The Wockhardt UK facility of laboratories, production lines and warehouses is based in Wrexham Industrial Estate and experience mild flooding, with an excess of water surrounding part of the buildings on the site.

A spokesman said: "All necessary precautions were taken, meaning no disruption to manufacturing or inlet of water into buildings.

"The site is now secure and free from any further flood damage and operating as normal."

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