Update and advice following severe flood warnings in Manchester

Please see below for an important update from the Environment Agency following yesterday’s heavy rainfall:

During yesterday’s heavy rainfall the Environment Agency issued two severe flood warnings for Didsbury – which indicate a danger to life.  Intense rainfall from Storm Christoph resulted in rising river levels on the River Mersey.

We operated our flood defence assets across the area which included the operation of the Didsbury Flood Basin, the basin aims to protect around 3,000 homes and businesses – mostly in West Didsbury and we directly warned 2,332 properties.

1700 properties were door knocked, a lot of residents stayed in their homes with advice and guidance from the fire service and police.  Vulnerable people were identified and offered hotels.  Where people were not able to go to family and friends they were offered a rest centre for the night – 50 people were at the Wythenshawe rest centre.  Other rest centres were set up but not used. We are working with the police to confirm when people can return to their homes now that the severe flood warnings have been removed.

We have teams out on the ground to confirm the extent of the impact of any flooding.  Our thoughts are immediately with those communities who are dealing with the devastating effects of flooding to their homes and businesses.

Environment Agency teams worked through the day and night to reduce risk to communities and we will continue to work, throughout this week, with partners and communities in gathering vital post-flood information to begin the recovery phase.

Current situation

Storm Christoph has passed now, the forecast for the next few days is wintery showers so we would advise constituents to continue to keep up to date with the weather forecast and any associated flood warnings.

Our virtual incident rooms remain open and our staff are out on the ground monitoring river levels, checking for blockages and ensuring that our assets are clear and operational for any future events.

Advice for constituents

Anyone with urgent need for care and support should call the Council’s Contact Centre on 0161 234 5001.

If you are asked to leave your home and need to stay with family or friends due to flooding, you will not be in breach of coronavirus laws and no legal action will be taken. If you or a family member have been asked to self-isolate due to Covid-19 Government guidance or if you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you will be contacted directly and Covid-secure accommodation will be provided.

Flooding is dangerous and can happen very quickly and the effects can be devastating. The best way to protect yourself from flooding is to know what to do in advance.

We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and urge people not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.

More than 1.4 million people are signed up for free flood warnings, giving them vital time to save themselves and their possessions from the devastating effects of flooding. This service is free and they can sign up at http://www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings or by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 and they can check the latest flood information on our website at https://www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding.

They can also follow us on Twitter Northwest @EnvAgencyNW.

Further information for constituents about how they can better prepare for a flood can be found on the Flood Hub website at https://www.thefloodhub.co.uk.

If anyone wants to report flooding or blockages within a watercourse we would ask that in the first instance to please contact our 24 hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or email Incident_Communication_Service@environment-agency.gov.uk.

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