UPDATE 2.30PM Travel disruption as flooding continues

Flooding underneath the motorway bridge in Halton which caused Halton Road to closed on Tuesday morning.
Flooding underneath the motorway bridge in Halton which caused Halton Road to closed on Tuesday morning.
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Trains have been cancelled and roads closed in Lancashire due to widespread flooding caused by heavy rainfall.

There are no trains between Blackpool North and Preston because of a landslide at Weeton and there are delays between Preston and Lancaster.

The Environment Agency has put five flood warnings and 11 flood alerts in place around the region.

It is advising people to use sandbags to protect their properties.

Garstang Community Primary School had to shut yesterday because of flooding in classrooms, but is expected to reopen today.

Villagers in Croston said they feared they could see a repeat of the devastating floods that hit their homes earlier this year, as water began to approach their properties.

Residents put out sandbags to protect their buildings in Garstang Road in Broughton, near Preston, which was flooded near the Post Office.

Neighbours living in Higher Croft, Penwortham, who last week said they had been virtually stranded after torrential downpours, said they were again facing the same problems.

And people in Much Hoole, near Preston, were faced with flooding in Liverpool Old Road, while Grange Lane in Hutton was also severely flooded.

Flooding underneath the motorway bridge in Halton, near Lancaster, caused Halton Road to close yesterday.

Alerts have been issued for the River Yarrow at Croston and Pimlico Brook at Clitheroe, as well as the River Wyre south of St Michaels, the River Douglas at Parbold and the watercourses at Preesall.

The A6 has been closed north of Carnforth.

Bottomdale Road in Hest Bank has been closed between the A6 Slyne Road junction and the Foundry Lane junction.

Powder House Lane in Morecambe has also been closed due to flooding between the B5321 Torrisholme Road junction and the Hasty Brow Road junction.

Northern Rail said the Wigan Wallgate-to-Southport and the Blackburn-to-Clitheroe lines were closed due to flooding and replacement buses were operating.

However, the Environment Agency said river levels in the area had now peaked, and were beginning to fall.

It deployed emergency teams across northern England and Wales overnight and warned communities to remain prepared for the risk of further flooding today.

The Met Office is forecasting further heavy rain across England and Wales and further surface water and said river flooding was likely as the bulk of water moved down the rivers over the next two days.

Across the North West, there are currently 30 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible, and 24 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected, in force.

Rainfall is expected to ease as the day progresses, with more frequent showers expected on Thursday and Friday.

Steve Moore, regional director for the North West Environment Agency, said: “The worst of the rain is heading south and is expected to ease as the day progresses, but there is still a risk of flooding in the North West as earlier rainfall begins to flow downstream.

“We strongly urge people to sign up to our free flood warnings service, check our website, follow us on Twitter @EnvAgencyNW and keep a close eye on local weather forecasts to be prepared for the possibility of flooding.

“We also ask that people stay away from rivers and do not attempt to drive or walk through floodwater.

“We have teams out on the ground checking flood defences and clearing any blockages to reduce the risk of flooding as much as possible.”

Alison Baptiste, national flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, added: “Flooding has a devastating impact on people, families and communities, and our thoughts are with those who have flooded this week.

“We would urge people, especially in the north of England, to continue to be prepared for flooding, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation.

“Our teams have been out around the clock over the last few days to minimise the risks and prepare for flooding and we are continuing to deploy teams across the country to keep communities safe.”

Those in areas at risk are advised to check the Environment Agency website for the latest information, sign up for free flood warnings or call the Environment Agency Flood Line on 0845 988 1188.

Has your area been affected by flooding? Send your stories and pictures to neil.docking@lep.co.uk.