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Isle of Man village flooded for second time in four years

The deluge mirrored a flood in 2015 which washed away a 200-year-old stone bridge and left a school bus upside down in the river.

Flooding on Glen Road, Laxey, Isle of Man, as flash flooding caused problems (Jo Bersee-Mills/Twitter/PA)
Flooding on Glen Road, Laxey, Isle of Man, as flash flooding caused problems (Jo Bersee-Mills/Twitter/PA)

By Megan Baynes and Dave Higgens, PA

Isle of Man residents have spoken of their concerns for people living in the village of Laxey after it suffered a second major flood in four years.

The Laxey River burst its banks on Tuesday morning, leaving people trapped in houses on Glen Road.

The deluge mirrored a flood in 2015 which washed away a 200-year-old stone bridge and left a school bus upside down in the river.

Police declared a major incident in Laxey and a Coastguard helicopter was brought in to stand by after the river levels rose alarmingly.

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A Coastguard helicopter on Laxey football pitch (Julie Graham/Twitter/PA)

Some local people said a hole left in the river wall as contractors undertook work on a weir was part of the problem, although there were other breaches.

Officers called on people to avoid travelling as the heavy rain caused a number of incidents on different parts of the island, including a landslide on the Mountain Road.

The Laxey to Ramsey coast road was closed for more than four hours while the route was made safe and standing water was reported on many other roads.

Parking along Douglas Promenade walkway was suspended due to the conditions, and residents and business owners on Peel Road were urged to deploy flood defences.

One Twitter user told the PA news agency: “Grandparents are at home with our two dogs and cat, and scared as they had gushing water through the back garden. I drive so may struggle to get home through the roads as I did this morning.”

Ed Hutton told PA he was “cold and worried about the people who are lower down in Laxey”.

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Flooding at Laxey Harbour (Ed Hutton/Twitter/PA)

Witness Julie Graham said on Twitter: “Coastguard helicopter on Laxey football pitch. Horrendous conditions, river has burst it’s banks, people trapped in their houses.

“The emergency services are doing an amazing job.”

She said: “Never had it as bad as this, thankfully we are away from the flood zone but not everyone is as lucky.

“The rain is subsiding but the river is still fast flowing and people’s homes are under water.”

Laxey and Dhoon schools were closed due to the deluge.

Graham Cregeen, minister for education, sport and culture, said this was on advice from the Isle of Man Constabulary.

He said: “Closing schools is never a decision we take lightly, because of the effect on pupils’ education and the impact on the wider economy, with parents having to take (time off).

“However, safety of pupils and staff travelling to and from school is always of paramount importance to us when we make decisions.

“The situation is being monitored closely.”

The Isle of Man Government said the UK Coastguard helicopter remained on standby for several hours.

It said a rest centre was being established with staff including a paramedic from Noble’s Hospital.

A spokesman said: “Contingency arrangements are being made to support and staff the rest centre as the incident continues, in conjunction with Civil Defence.

“Alternate accommodation is being found for those who need it, while fire crews pump out flooded properties.”

He said Chief Minister Howard Quayle was receiving regular updates on the disruption while at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

The Government said Mr Quayle will return earlier than planned first thing on Wednesday morning to visit Laxey.

He said on Twitter: “My thanks to everyone who is assisting in the response to some very unpleasant weather in the #IsleofMan.”

PA

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