Environment Agency urges public to prepare for flooding.
The heavy rain currently affecting the North West is expected to last until Sunday morning, the Environment Agency is now warning.
There is a continued risk of surface water and river flooding this afternoon and tomorrow (Saturday) across the region. The situation could deteriorate further as a heavy band of rain is now forecast for the early hours of Sunday morning.
Kate Marks, Environment Agency spokesperson said, 'A month’s rain is predicted to fall in the North West in the next 24 hours. We would urge public to remain vigilant and prepared for flooding, especially as river levels can rise very quickly.
'People can check the Environment Agency website and Twitter feed for the latest updates and flood warnings for rivers.'
Environment Agency staff are on the ground in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside monitoring river levels and clearing blockages to prevent flooding around culverts and bridges. This afternoon the focus has been on Oldham, Bolton, Rochdale, Haslingden, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall, which are currently on flood alert.
In the Manchester area, staff are preparing to operate four flood basins in Leigh, Salford, Sale and Didsbury should the river levels rise further. Preparations are also being made to shut flood gates in Woolley Bridge, near Glossop to prevent flooding in the area.
A number of summer events happening across the region have already been cancelled or moved indoors, including Blackpool’s Olympic Torch celebrations. Revellers attending concerts and festivals in the affected areas should also take extra caution and consult with event organisers before setting out.
The public is strongly advised to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through floodwater.
People affected by flood can submit stories, pictures, videos and locations to the Environment Agency crowd mapping tool.
The Environment Agency updates its flood guidance every 15 minutes and you can follow the Environment Agency on Twitter at @EnvAgency using the hashtags #NWflood and #floodaware or watch our flood experts sharing the latest flood risk situation on Youtube.
Met Office weather forecasts and warnings can be found on its website. You can also follow the Met Office on Twitter @metoffice and Facebook.