Flooding hits parts of Wigan and road closed as Storm Christoph moves in
Heavy rainfall overnight has created "significant surface flooding", with Chorley Road in Standish closed and motorists asked to use alternative routes.
Roads around Haigh Woodland Park are also particularly bad while there is also flooding at Pennington Hall Park and at Saddle Junction, as well as in areas of Golborne.
Wigan Council said the Wigan vaccination centre at Robin Park remains open with access from Anjou Boulevard.
Heavy rain and flooding has also led to the closure of the A574 Warrington Road at Greenfold Way, Leigh, with it no longer passable for motorists and people being asked to avoid the area
Motorists are being asked to consider alternative routes and to be vigilant.
The council tweeted: "Due to more heavy rain and flooding, network management has been forced to close the A574 Warrington Road at Greenfold Way, Leigh, with it no longer passable for motorists. Please avoid."
And water is also reported to be high this morning at the brook at Platt Lane, in Hindley, although it is currently coping.
After councillors made an agreement with the council, more than 300 sandbags are being placed at the edge of the Old Ford at the top of Platt Lane.
In 2015 the brook was flooded and caused devastation on Platt Lane across Atherton Road and on to Lord Street.
There was also a very close escape last year, but thanks to volunteers who worked alongside councillors, the area just about managed to cope and stopped the flooding. It is hoped that the early action taken this year will do the same.
Flood alerts are also in place by the Environment Agency at the Lower and Upper River Douglas, Mosley Common and reportedly at the River Glaze: Leigh and East Wigan.
Heavy rain and flooding is also causing disruption on some routes across the Northern network.
Weather-related issues are disrupting services including on the Wigan Wallgate to Southport route, Wigan North Western to St Helens Central and Wigan to Salford Crescent routes.
A spokesman for Northern said: “The adverse weather is having a significant impact on our ability to operate services across many parts of the north west.
“We are working closely with colleagues at Network Rail to get our services up and running as soon as possible. In the meantime, we’re asking customers who need to make essential journeys to check carefully before travelling.
They added: “The difficult conditions are being experienced across a large part of our network and customers planning to travel today should be aware that any journeys could be affected and they should allow extra time for travel.”
Greater Manchester Police have also declared a major incident along with South Yorkshire ahead of the expected heavy rainfall.
Many parts of the region have been hit by deluges as Storm Christoph sweeps through the country and drops water on already saturated ground.
The issues have prompted West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper to challenge Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions to deliver "much-needed" funding for flood defences.
Ms Cooper said: “The PM’s response to me was to quote the amount that has previously been given for flood defences. This is clearly not enough. In the past week I have been contacted by many of my West Lancashire constituents who are struggling with flooding of their homes, gardens and land. When will the Government finally listen to them?
“Local Authorities and the Environment Agency are doing what they can, but without proper and adequate funding they are fighting a losing battle.
“For the sake of my constituent’s land, homes and businesses, I hope the Prime Minister finally takes notice and provides the funding and help we urgently need,"
The Met Office has issued the most serious weather warning - amber for rain - in place across parts of northern England since Tuesday morning (January 19)
Simon Partridge, a Met Office forecaster, explained: “It’s not a traditional sort of storm, it’s going to be windy but it’s not based on the wind strength at all, it’s really down to the disruption that’s being caused by rain.
“There are already parts of Cumbria that have already seen over 80mm of rain since midnight on Tuesday and there’s a large number of places that have seen 50mm, and we are going to see further rain over the next 24 to 36 hours.”
Mr Partridge said the storm meant that some areas could see double the average amount of monthly rainfall over a few days.
He said: “Those areas that have seen between 50mm and 70mm already, the warning is out until midday on Thursday, so an extremely long period, but by then we could see up to 150mm to possibly 200mm of rainfall.
“The Midlands for example, their average rainfall total for the whole month is 73mm, so they could easily get double that in the course of two, two and a half days.”
The storm has caused concern for people living in areas devastated by the floods at the end of 2019, who say they are preparing for the worst to happen again.
As of 5am, the Environment Agency has issued 37 flood warnings and 167 less serious flood alerts across England.
Meanwhile, Public Health England (PHE) issued a cold weather alert from “first thing” on Thursday until 9am on January 25 for the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.
The agency said the risk of flooding will amplify the public health risks of the severe cold weather.
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