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Threat to life warning in Didsbury and Northenden amid flooding - all the affected Manchester postcodes

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 20/01/2021 Rebecca Day

A threat to life warning has been issued by the Environment Agency after heavy flooding hit Didsbury, Northenden and Chorlton.

Around 300 homes have been evacuated in parts of the south Manchester suburbs due to flooding.

Manchester council has urged people with the below postcodes to check the flood warning service:

M20 2

M20 5

M21 7

M21 8

M21 9

M22 4

It comes as levels continue to rise on the River Mersey during Storm Christoph.

Sally Sudworth, environment manager at the environment agency, said: “More heavy rain falling on already saturated ground will bring significant surface and river water flooding in parts of Greater Manchester today, tomorrow (Thursday) and into the weekend, which could cause damage to buildings in some communities.

“Environment Agency teams are out on the ground clearing grilles, screens, deploying temporary flood defences and closing flood barriers. We urge people to keep away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water – it is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.

a bridge over a body of water: Flood gates on Millgate Lane, off Parrs Wood Road, in Didsbury © Vincent Cole Flood gates on Millgate Lane, off Parrs Wood Road, in Didsbury

“People should check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at via Gov.uk or follow @EnvAgencyNW on Twitter for the latest flood updates.”

In a statement, Manchester council said: "The GM Strategic Coordination Group for Storm Christoph and the Environment Agency have enacted a Severe Flood Warning covering parts of Didsbury, Chorlton and Northenden as levels of the River Mersey continue to rise.

"This level of flood warning means that evacuations have started due to the potential risk of flooding. There is also a particular focus on supporting vulnerable households.

"The Council is working with colleagues in Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue and Environment Agency to proactively evacuate homes before any flooding has taken place, which is anticipated in the early hours 21 January.

"This is to ensure people’s safety.

"All flood basins have been opened, but river levels are expected to rise this evening and the decision has been made to evacuate people in a safe and controlled way this evening, rather than waiting to assess the flooding impact overnight."

Earlier tonight, Greater Manchester Police confirmed the evacuation of residents in Didsbury and Northenden will involve more than 150 medically vulnerable people.

Those being moved lived within 2,300 homes in the area which are considered to be a major risk due to record water levels in the swollen River Mersey.

Assistant Chief Constable, Nick Bailey, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "A basin at Didsbury to take water from the Mersey is full. It will over top in the next few hours. As a result we will be issuing a flood warning to homes.

"This will be through texted flood alerts to some people and and police officers, PCSOS, firefighters, and volunteers, will be knocking on doors.

"To help evacuate people we will have support from North West Ambulance, The British Red Cross. and St John's Ambulance. We have identified about 160 people that will be moved. There will be provision at Wythenshawe Forum and hotels are being used.

"Some of those that are being evacuated will also be COVID positive or isolating at home."

ACC Bailey added: "There are contingencies in place with basins to take excess water from the Mersey in Didsbury and the area of Sale Water Park, but it looks like they are going to overtop - but not breach.

"Where we can water will be pumped away from houses maybe towards fields or golf courses."

Anyone who believes they are in emergency danger is urged to call 999.

Anyone with urgent need for care and support should call the council's Contact Centre on 0161 234 5001.

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