Severe flood warnings remain in place across England

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There remains a significant risk of flooding after heavy rain from Storm Christoph falling on already saturated ground led to exceptionally high river levels, affecting parts of the North West of England and Yorkshire, according to the Environment Agency.

The Agency is working round the clock with its partners to help reduce the risk, with over 9000 properties in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire already protected from flooding. Teams are operating flood defences, flood storage reservoirs and putting up temporary barriers where needed to help protect communities.

As of 2pm on 21 January there are 3 severe flood warnings, meaning that flooding poses a significant risk to life or significant disruption to communities, 172 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected, and 192 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible.

People living in the North West of England and Yorkshire and are being urged to prepare for the risk of significant flooding into the weekend. The public should sign up to flood warnings and check the latest safety advice.

Craig Woolhouse, Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said:

Our thoughts are with anyone who has been affected, and our teams are working round the clock, deploying temporary flood defences and closing flood barriers, and so far have protected over 9,000 properties.

Exceptionally high river levels brought on by last night’s rain could continue to affect parts of the northwest of England today and may also bring flooding to parts of Yorkshire today and Friday, with a risk of damage to buildings in some communities. There’s also a chance of localised flooding of land and roads across parts of the South of England on Saturday due to further rain.

Environment Agency teams are out on the ground clearing grilles, screens and closing flood barriers. We urge people to keep away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water – it is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.   

People should check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at via or follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates.

Storm Christoph brought some heavy, and at times record breaking, rain to parts of England. Provisional figures show Honister, in Cumbria, received 123.8 mm of rainfall on Tuesday 19 January, a new daily rainfall record for this winter and 2021. Figures also show parts of Cleveland, in North Yorkshire, received more than their average January rainfall in just a 48 hour period. Tuesday 19 January was the wettest January day for Rochdale (46.8mm), Preston (43.6 mm) and Stonyhurst, Lancashire (43.8mm) since 1954.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Paul Gundersen, said:

Colder air is now established across the UK as Storm Christoph moves away into the North Sea, and gale force winds will impact the northeast of the country.

There are three National Severe weather warnings in place, two in north and east Scotland, one for rain and one for snow valid until noon on Friday, and an ice warning cover western Scotland, north west England, Northern Ireland and much of Wales, valid until 10 am Friday.

Evacuating people from their homes is a multi-agency decision where all risks are considered. Preparations for evacuations and to create Covid-secure rest centres will have been made by the relevant agencies as a precautionary measure. We would urge anyone advised to evacuate to follow the advice of the emergency services at the time.

Find out if you’re at risk of flooding in England

Sign up for flood warnings

Get help during a flood

What to do after a flood

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