WIGAN has taken a Boxing Day battering from the weather with flooding problems across the borough.
The Leeds-Liverpool Canal and River Douglas have both burst their banks and heavy rainfall is also creating misery for homeowners and drivers.
Some of the worst-affected areas include Springfield, Appley Bridge and Gathurst and there are also problems on major routes including the East Lancs Road.
Sports matches have been called off and large stores have been unable to open for the Boxing Day sales.
Wigan Athletic’s game against Sheffield United has been postponed as the car park behind the East Stand at the DW Stadium is underwater after the canal overflowed its banks and parts of the pitch are unplayable.
Firefighters have also been helping residents on Beresford Street and large pools of water have formed on Scot Lane near the railway bridge and around the Saddle junction, where the Asda superstore has been closed.
Back Lane in Appley Bridge has been flooded and messages on social media suggested there are also problems on Millbank.
Residents also took to Facebook to say the canal has burst its banks at Spring Lane in Orrell and Gathurst and the eastbound carriageway of the East Lancs Road heading towards Manchester has been shut between The Greyhound and the junction for Astley.
The most severe red flood warning has been issued for Borsdane and Hockery Brook in Hindley, meaning residents in those areas should take immediate action to protect their property.
The River Glaze catchment, which covers Leigh and parts of the eastern side of Wigan, has been given a yellow warning.
If you’re driving, see water on the road and don’t know how deep it is don’t drive through itCoun David Acton, chair of GM Fire and Rescue Authority
Water levels are expected to rise further with more rainfall predicted throughout the morning and into the early afternoon.
Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Coun David Acton, said: “Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by flooding today. We are working tirelessly across the North West to protect life and property.
“If you live in an affected area please do not travel and if you home has been flooded stay out of the water and wait for help.
“Flood water is extremely dangerous, it is dirty, can be fast flowing and often full of debris. The only way to stay safe is to stay out of the water.
“If you’re driving, see water on the road and don’t know how deep it is don’t drive through it; it only takes 30cm of water to float a car and even less to write your vehicle off.
“Our control operators are experiencing a high number of calls at the moment, so please only call 999 if it is a genuine emergency.”
For more information visit https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/ or call the 24 hour Floodline on 0345 988 1188.