Storm Franklin Manchester: River Mersey severe flood warning downgraded - but flood alert to remain all week

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Some residents in the Didsbury area evacuated on Sunday but the Environment Agency has now downgraded the level of flood warning on the River Mersey.

‘Severe’ flood warnings for parts of Manchester have been scaled back on Monday morning - but a lesser alert remains in place for the rest of the week.

People in parts of Didsbury were advised to evacuate on Sunday after the Environment Agency issued a ‘danger to life’ level of flood alert which lasts into today - with heavy rainfall expected to last til Monday lunchtime.

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The city council worked with Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue and the Environment Agency to set up an emergency centre at Didsbury Mosque yesterday, for people who had to leave home, and the council confirmed seven people, mostly elderly, did so - but have since returned home.

In an updated statement at 11am on Monday, a council spokesman said: “A Flood Alert remains in place in the Disbury and Northenden areas and this is likely going to remain in place through the week as inclement weather continues and while the Didsbury Flood Basin is able to fully drain.

“Skilled management of the basin meant that no formal evacuation of homes was required.

Residents who do need to travel today should take extra care. River levels remain high and road closures may still be in place.”

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Manchester City Council leader Coun Bev Craig tweeted on Monday morning that they had got through Sunday night into Monday morning without flooding in anyone’s homes.

She later added: “It is welcome relief that the Severe Flood Warning has now been removed for the River Mersey around West Didsbury and Northenden.

“However, a Flood Alert remains in place and will do most likely through the week until the flood basin in Didsbury empties.

“We’re also expecting continued wet weather in the coming days and a Met Office weather warning is still in place. So please be careful if you need to travel today and through the week.

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“Thankfully, because of the skilled management of the flood defences on the River Mersey, major flooding and formal evacuations have been avoided, but as the weather remains unsettled there will likely be disruption on our roads and transport routes, so make sure you check the relevant websites before you travel, take care and give yourself extra time.

“We owe a huge debt of thanks to staff at the Environment Agency, emergency services and volunteers who have worked with council staff overnight to monitor the risk of flooding and keep us safe.

“Water levels look to be falling but this will remain under review for the next few days, so keep an eye on information from the council and emergency services.”

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