Environment Agency warns of flood risk

Communities around the North West are being warned to be prepared for possible flooding and disruption to travel due to heavy rain today and into tomorrow.

Tuesday, 26th January 2016, 6:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th January 2016, 6:49 am
The River Calder bursts its banks in Padiham, leaving the town centre several feet under water on Boxing Day

Rivers in Lancashire and Cumbria already affected by very high water levels throughout the wettest December on record are likely to rise quickly, with the potential for heavy rainfall and localised flooding.

Residents are being urged to check their flood risk, be prepared for flooding and be cautious if travelling. As the weather remains unsettled, there is the potential of nine hours of rainfall from this morning with up to 80mm of rain in total.

Environment Agency teams are working round the clock checking and maintaining flood defences by completing grid runs, checking flood gates and flood walls, clearing blockages in watercourses and monitoring water levels.

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Matt Crump from the Environment Agency said: “We are expecting heavy rainfall and winds coming in from the west and urge communities to be prepared for the risk of flooding.

“We will issue flood warnings and alerts where necessary as rivers respond to the rainfall. This could also cause drains to overflow, so people need to be ready for possible flash flooding in some places. Environment Agency teams are already out checking flood defenses, clearing trash screens and blockages in watercourses and culverts and we have flood support officers visiting communities with the greatest risk across Cumbria and Lancashire this week, giving support and guidance”.