Residents across Greater Manchester are being warned to 'act now' over flooding due to Storm Babet. Three flood warnings have been issued covering parts of Tameside, Manchester and Stockport as heavy rain and winds affect the region.
Flood defences and sandbags have been put up in areas prone to flooding, including Littleborough in Rochdale and Mossley. The storm is also affecting transport in the region, with travellers facing delays on buses and trains.
Manchester Piccadilly warned passengers could see disruption on rail services after heavy rain caused flooding on some north western lines and strong winds knocked trees onto the tracks. On X, First Manchester said customers could see delays of up to 35 minutes due to weather conditions.
Three flood warnings - meaning flooding is expected and residents should act now - are now in place:
The first covers Staley and Micklehurst in Tameside. The Environment Agency said: "River levels are rising steadily due to Storm Babet with further heavy rainfall forecast. Areas most at risk include Micklehurst Rd and Audley St in Mossley."
A second flood warning covers the River Mersey at Cheadle Wood and Ford Lane. This includes Parrs Wood High School playing fields, Heaton Mersey Valley Golf Course, and Burnage Rugby Club.
The Environment Agency said: "Flooding is expected in this area. This means properties are at risk of flooding.
"Please take action to protect yourself and your property and monitor local weather and river conditions. Avoid contact with, walking or driving through flood water. Consider activating any property flood protection products you may have."
The Environment Agency said: "River levels are rising on the River Mersey due to Storm Babet. Flooding is forecast to affect locations near the River Mersey, with low lying land expected to be most affected, particularly around land adjacent to the River Mersey at West Didsbury and Withington golf course.
"Our incident response staff are closing flood gates and checking defences. River levels are expected to peak at 7.6 metres later this evening or early tomorrow morning. Avoid using low lying footpaths and any bridges near local watercourses and do not attempt to walk or drive through flood water.
"Monitor local water levels and weather conditions. Consider putting your flood plan into action. You should avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water."
There are also two 'flood alerts' - which are less serious than a 'flood warning' and mean flooding is possible and residents should prepare - in place in the region, covering the River Mersey from Irlam through Stretford, Sale and Gatley to Stockport - and a stretch of the River Irwell catchment, covering areas including Oldham, Bolton, Rochdale and Ramsbottom.
The Environment Agency is asking people not to attempt to walk or drive through flood water, adding those in areas at risk of flooding should 'consider putting your flood plan into action'.
Further heavy rainfall is predicted into the evening.
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By Nicole Wootton-Cane, Reporter, Manchester Evening News, 17.39, 20 October 2023