Sunday, December 27, 2015

UK floods: hundreds flee homes as swaths of northern England submerged

Robin McKie and agencies
Dec. 27, 2015

Hundreds of people fled their homes after torrential rain triggered flooding in towns across Lancashire and West Yorkshire, and dangerously high waters even reached the cities of Manchester and Leeds.

The Met Office issued two of its most serious, red weather warnings – indicating a danger to life – for the area and warned that up to five inches of rain could fall over the weekend. In addition, the Environment Agency (EA) issued 31 severe flood warnings – which also signal danger to life – as well as hundreds of standard flood warnings, which mean that immediate action is required.


In one incident believed connected with the flooding, a gas explosion occurred at around 4.30pm in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester. Saeed Atcha, a local radio presenter, said: “All of a sudden we heard a bang, we looked over to where the sound came from and couldn’t see anything.

“Then a second later there was another explosion and then a big orange beam lit up the sky, like a flash. It was very, very scary. Everyone was looking around in a state of shock. A police officer shouted ‘Get back into your house, there has been a gas explosion.’ Two or three minutes later the police officer jumped into his van and drove away.”

Atcha said he understood that the explosion had been caused by the flooding. It occurred right next to the river Irwell, which has burst its banks. He added: “It is going to be a very dark and miserable evening. It seems like the area is on lock-down.”


Locals described some of the flooding as the most severe they had ever seen.


At the same time, more than 10,000 homes in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, and Lancashire lost their electricity supply after flood waters surged into a local substation. Electricity North West said its teams were working to get power restored but were doing so in “extremely difficult conditions”. It warned that some properties might be without power until Monday. Flood defences at a number of its substations had been breached, it said, and engineers were working round the clock to restore power.


No comments:

Post a Comment