Police declare an emergency incident in Greater Manchester as Storm Christoph continues to soak the region

Greater Manchester Police have declared a major incident as the area braces itself for more heavy rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 5:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 5:36 pm
Familiar scenes close to Wigan Asda

Many parts of the region have been hit by deluges as Storm Christoph sweeps through the country and drops water on already saturated ground.

By early Tuesday evening Wigan had not been worst affected by the downpours, although a few familiar flood spots - such as Soho Street near to the Newtown Asda hypermarket were impeding motorists.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey, Chair of the GM Strategic Coordination Group for Storm Christoph, said: "In order to ensure that we're as prepared as possible for the heavy rainfall expected from Storm Christoph, we have declared a major incident.

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"The safety of the public is our number one priority and we're continuing to work alongside partner agencies across the region.

"Whilst we appreciate that everyone has been told to stay home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we want to make it clear that should members of the public need to evacuate to protect themselves due to flooding then that is the priority and you should follow your local authority's advice regarding evacuation.

"Coronavirus remains a threat to everyone's health and people should not leave their homes unless it is absolutely essential, but where there is a risk of flooding, that is clearly essential and we're working with our partners to ensure that people can do this as safely as possible.

"For anyone that needs to evacuate, we'd ask that you remain very aware of Covid-19 and continue to follow the government guidance around Hands, Face, Space as much as possible and limit your contact with other people.

"We would continue to urge anyone with concerns about flooding in their area to contact their local authorities who will be able to sign-post you to the most appropriate information and support.

"Partner agencies are working hard on local plans to ensure that people living in potentially vulnerable areas are notified at the earliest opportunity.

"Heavy rainfall is expected from later today and that could cause flooding in several areas across Greater Manchester - we are preparing for this and are continuing to monitor the situation very closely. We will continue to provide updates as often as we can."

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