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Heavy downpours spark rescues and evacuations as flooding hits parts of UK

The railway between Manchester Airport and Wimslow has been disrupted.

Flood damage in Poynton, Cheshire (Juliet Dunlop/@julietdunlop/PA)
Flood damage in Poynton, Cheshire (Juliet Dunlop/@julietdunlop/PA)

Homes have been evacuated and stranded people rescued as heavy downpours caused flooding across parts of the UK.

Flooding due to sustained rain disrupted all lines on the railway between Manchester Airport and Wilmslow early on Thursday, according to train operator Northern.

A major incident was declared late on Wednesday in Poynton, Cheshire, due to “severe flooding”.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) said firefighters, emergency services personnel and staff from Highways England were helping those affected, with a rest centre established at Poynton Civic Hall.

The roof of a submerged car on the A555 near Handforth, Cheshire (Danny Lawson/PA)

Police urged people not to ignore “road closed” signs by driving or walking through water.

“Your car could become submerged and the road underneath could have collapsed, putting you in danger,” the Macclesfield North and Poynton Police Twitter account said.

CFRS added: “Please bear with us, crews and police officers are working very hard to get to those in need and the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Poynton Fire Station said its crews had attended more than 20 incidents, including rescuing at least 11 people from floodwater in the area during a four-hour period.

Police in nearby Wilmslow also said officers were “dealing with flooding” and had evacuated affected residents, with Oakenclough Children’s Centre open as a rest centre.

The Met Office said it should be a “much drier picture” across England on Thursday.

A cyclist comes to a halt as flood water blocks a road on the A555 near Handforth (Danny Lawson/PA)

Forecaster Luke Miall said only sporadic rain was likely in central and western Scotland and northern England, possibly as far south as Yorkshire.

He said: “There may be some showers but they’re likely to not be as frequent nor as significant as the last few days.”

South-west England and parts of Wales may also see occasional showers, he added.

On Thursday morning across England there were 17 flood warnings – meaning immediate action was required – and people were advised to be prepared via 27 flood alerts.

Despite reports of 6in (15cm) of water having receded in the Cheshire suburb of Handforth in the early hours, flooding had still shut down a wide network of roads in the region.

Cheshire East Council said: “Overnight, we have responded to more than 150 highways-related flooding calls and today we will be inspecting our roads, clearing any debris & responding to further requests for assistance.”



From Belfast Telegraph