Properties evacuated overnight due to Storm Christoph flooding fears

Almost 200 flood warnings remained in place across England on Thursday morning.

Winter weather flooding in Cheshire
Winter weather flooding in Cheshire

Flood defences “served their purpose” and kept properties in Manchester dry overnight after hundreds of residents were told to leave their homes because of Storm Christoph.

Almost 200 flood warnings remained in place across England on Thursday morning, with four “severe” warnings – meaning danger to life – issued for the North West.

Residents in East Didsbury, West Didsbury and Northenden areas of Greater Manchester were told to leave their homes on Wednesday night because of rising water levels, the city council said.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

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.

But Lee Rawlinson, of the Environment Agency, said that flood basins put in place on the River Mersey in Didsbury had kept properties in the area dry overnight.

“At Didsbury, the River Mersey got to very high levels very quickly, the water was pouring through there,” he told BBC Breakfast on Thursday.

“What we did as an organisation, we have a couple of flood basins that we employed there, that they took the water away. It took the peak of the water off.

Winter weather Jan 20th 2021
People cross a bridge over the River Mersey as snow falls in East Didsbury, Manchester (Peter Byrne/PA)

“The top of the river came within centimetres of the top of the river bank but our defences there have served their purpose and kept those properties dry.

“But it was very close.”

Following heavy rain and snow, Greater Manchester Police warned of the risk of “treacherous ice” on the roads and urged drivers to be cautious and only travel if essential.

In the early hours of the morning, North Wales Police began evacuating residents from their homes in Bangor-on-Dee after a severe flood warning was issued for the village by Natural Resources Wales.

“We continue to ask everyone to attend Ysgol Sant Dunawd as soon as possible,” the force said on Twitter.

“Please do not try to leave the area yourself due to the road conditions.”

Residents in Maghull were also advised to leave their properties after a severe flood warning was issued due to “unprecedented” water levels at Dover Brook near the River Alt, Sefton Council said.

But as rain overnight was not as heavy as predicted, this was replaced with a flood warning on Thursday, according to the council.

The Environment Agency said that while this was “good news”, it expected water levels to remain high throughout the day with flooding to properties still possible.

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