Rochdale residents urged to take ‘immediate action’ over flooding fears

Residents in Rochdale are being urged to take ‘immediate action’ over flooding fears – almost four years after Storm Eva caused devastation in the town.

The River Roch is reaching ‘dangerously high’ levels with heavy downpours already wreaking havoc on roads.

Diversions are in place and one car park is already under a foot of water with police warning motorists to ‘take care’.

And now the Environment Agency has warned that the town centre could be about to be flooded, reports Manchester Evening News.

It said: "River levels are steadily rising as a result of persistent rainfall and are expected to continue due to current forecasts.

"Consequently, flooding of property is possible throughout Saturday 16th March 2019. We believe there is a possibility of flooding for the area from Roch Valley Way to Yorkshire Street and Albert Royds Street.

"Our incident response staff are closely monitoring weather forecasts and river levels and will issue further flood updates if necessary. Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses, be aware of your surroundings and keep up to date with the current situation."

The warning came as families gathered in the town centre for the Rochdale Food and Drink Festival.

Events were taking place on The Esplanade.

The Metrolink Exchange in the town centre is included in the flood warning zone.

Parts of the town centre were pictured under water after the devastating Boxing Day floods of 2015 caused by Storm Eva.

Some 324 homes and businesses in Rochdale and Littleborough were severely damaged and 18,000 properties were left without power as record river levels saw the River Roch burst its banks in several places.

The fast-flowing water was four feet deep at the height of the flooding but miraculously, there were no reports of injuries and the town hall escaped flood damage.

According to the Environment Agency, those in areas where a flood warning has been issued should take action.

This involves turning off gas, water, and electricity, moving things upstairs to safety and moving family, pets and car to safety.

Meanwhile North Wales has also been hit by strong gales and heavy downpours causing many roads to be closed.

The terrified owners of a historic castle say they fear for their safety as floodwater pours into the property and leaves them cut off, reports North Wales Live.

Describing the situation as "simply terrifying", the owners of Gwydir Castle near Llanrwst wrote in a Facebook post that their cellars were "deep in water" and all roads to the property were cut off.

A video posted earlier today showed water from the Conwy River breaking through a wall of sandbags following torrential rain which has soaked North Wales.

Judy Corbett, who owns the Grade 1 listed building with husband Peter Welford, told North Wales Live that they were moving furniture from the ground floor to protect it from the water.

She said: "It is absolutely terrifying. This is the highest we have seen the water levels. We are fearing for our safety.

"The roads are cut off and the emergency services would not be able to reach here. We can’t get out.

"We are having to evacuate pieces of furniture to another floor.

"A sand bank wall, built with the help of volunteers, has been breached, and the water is so high we can’t see underneath, but we are expecting thousands of pounds worth of damage."

North Wales Police also warned: "Motorists are reminded not to attempt to drive through flood water. You cannot judge safely how deep it is."

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