Storm Christoph: The River Irwell overflows following rain

Manchester City Council issued severe flood warnings covering parts of Didsbury, Chorlton and Northenden. More than 2,000 homes in the areas of Manchester were evacuated overnight due to flooding caused by Storm Christoph.

It came after a major incident was declared for Greater Manchester with fears that up to 3,000 properties could be at risk.

Police and firefighters worked with Manchester City Council to help evacuate people from their homes.

The Environment Agency (EA) issued two severe flood warnings for the Didsbury and Northenden areas.

Severe flood warnings mean there is a risk of danger to life.

The EA said “intense rainfall” from Storm Christoph had caused river levels to rise on the River Mersey.

It added: “There may be a risk of overtopping at Didsbury flood basin in the early hours of Thursday morning.”

Despite the coronavirus national lockdown, people affected are allowed to leave their homes to escape harm.

The EA added: “If you are asked to leave your home and need to stay with family or friends due to flooding, you will not be in breach of coronavirus laws and no legal action will be taken.”

Manchester Piccadilly train station confirmed on Wednesday evening that trains were “cancelled across the North West”.

They urged people not to attempt to travel by train unless absolutely necessary.

On Wednesday evening, Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey, Chair of the Greater Manchester Strategic Coordination Group for Storm Christoph, said: “We are now at the stage where evacuations are necessary in areas of Didsbury.

“We will be directly in touch with residents in those properties that have been identified as potentially being at risk and we have an evacuation plan in place to set up those who have been displaced in temporary accommodation.

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“I think it’s important to stress that if you are contacted and advised to evacuate then we would strongly urge you to do so.”

Mr Bailey added: “The heavy rainfall is expected to continue so we will continue to monitor the situation very closely and provide updates as often as we can.”

According to the Met Office, parts of the UK could see two months’ worth of average rainfall in just two-and-a-half days.

In Liverpool, hundreds of people were told to evacuate their homes due to “unprecedented” floods.

Sefton Council in Liverpool advised some living in the Maghull area to evacuate for safety of their families.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to follow the evacuation advice.

He said: “If you are told to leave your home then you should do so.

“People may think this is a minor issue at the moment, still relevantly minor by standards of previous floods, but never underestimate the suffering, the misery, that floods can cause people.”

In Liverpool, those who have to evacuate their homes can take emergency shelter at Meadows Leisure Centre.

People who have had to leave their homes can also join an established Covid bubble or stay with family and friends.

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