The Environment Agency is warning people in the North West to remain vigilant as latest forecasts show that heavy and persistent rain will affect Eastern parts of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire over the next 8 hours.
We are urging the public to check local weather forecasts and the Environment Agency website for information. We are advising people to avoid swollen rivers and floodwater, which can be dangerous as it is fast-flowing and carries debris.
The Environment Agency has mobilised teams across the North West to check and clear any river blockages and closely monitor river levels. We are also working with local partners to ensure that surface water flooding is minimised where possible.
Surface water flooding happens when the local drainage system cannot cope with rainfall. It is extremely difficult to predict precisely where surface water flooding will happen as it depends on ground water levels, the amount of rainfall, and the local drainage network.
Over 5.5 million, or one in six, properties are at risk of flooding from all types of floods across England and Wales.
We can't prevent flooding entirely, but we can reduce the risks of flooding. By working with our partners and people at risk of flooding, we can minimise it’s effects and reduce the damage it causes.
Steve Moore, Director of the Environment Agency in the North West region said: “We are experiencing a period of very unsettled weather and, where necessary, our teams are out monitoring river levels and ensuring that blockages to rivers and drains are removed.”
The public are encouraged to remain vigilant and those concerned about flooding can call Floodline 0845 988 1188. Keep up to date with the latest flood alerts and warnings via our;
Twitter: Follow us on Twitter @envagencynw
Facebook: Sign up for flood alerts via Facebook www.facebook.com/floodalerts
For media enquiries please contact the press office on 01925 542621
Out of hours please call 0777 6497255 and ask for the duty press officer
Follow us on Twitter @EnvAgencyNW
Note to Editors
Our general enquiry has changed to 03708 506 506*.
* (Mon-Fri, 8am - 6pm) Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls. These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone.
For more information about flooding visit; http://www.environmentagency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31666.aspx
Photo opportunity: See what our teams are doing on the ground to prevent flooding.
Interviews from spokesperson, Gordon Whitaker will be available
Where: Crawshawbooth, Water Street
Contact: Jill Partington, 07880571357
What should I do when it floods?
Advice on what to do to stay safe in a flood and clearing up afterwards.
In the event of a flood it is important to focus on the safety of you and your family.
If it is about to flood, DO THESE THINGS NOW:
• Tune into your local radio station on a battery or wind-up radio.
• Switch off your electricity / gas supplies.
• If you have a flood plan, put it into action.
• Move important items to safety
If there's time, fit any flood protection products you might have such as:
• Flood boards
• Airbrick covers
• Sandbags or alternative barriers
• Toilet bungs (only needed for downstairs toilets)
• Any other flood product
You should be prepared to act quickly and get yourself to safety. Put the safety of people first and listen to advice from the Police and the Emergency Services. Remember that their concern is for your safety.
Stay alert to localised flooding
Also known as 'surface water flooding'. This usually happens where drainage systems are unable to cope with heavy spells of rainfall. We cannot give you a direct warning for this type of flooding.
Instead we forecast where it might be a problem in certain counties and put a daily flood risk forecast on our website. You can also find out about the possibility of 'surface water' flooding in your area by checking local weather forecasts.
Floodwater is dangerous
• Six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over.
• Two feet of water will float your car.
• Flooding can cause manhole covers to come off, leaving hidden dangers.
• Don’t walk or drive through flood water.
• Don’t let children play in flood water.
• Don’t walk on sea defences or riverbanks.
• When water levels are high be aware that bridges may be dangerous to walk or drive over.
• Culverts are dangerous when flooded.
• Look out for other hazards such as fallen power lines and trees.
• Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch floodwater as it may be contaminated.