Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency COBRA committee in response to Storm Christoph.
He confirmed his intentions to MPs in the House of Common this afternoon.
Mr Johnson first thanked the Environment Agency and the emergency services for their continuous hard work in light of the recent flooding and flood warnings issued across much of the UK – including in Greater Manchester – before confirming that he will later chair a COBRA meeting to coordinate a national response.
The Prime Minister’s confirmation of COBRA meeting comes after significant heavy rainfall has battered the North West since Monday evening and is expected to continue through the rest of the week.
An amber weather warning for rain is currently in place for Greater Manchester.
The Met Office defines the amber weather warning as:
- Homes and businesses are likely to be flooded, causing damage to some buildings.
- Fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely, causing danger to life.
- Delays and some cancellations to train and bus services are likely.
- Spray and flooding probably leading to difficult driving conditions and some road closures.
- A good chance some communities cut off by flooded roads.
- Power cuts and loss of other services to some homes and businesses likely.
The Flood Information Service has put warnings in place for 12 locals areas so far, including the River Roch at Littleborough, River Roch in Rochdale, the River Mersey at Cheadle Wood and Ford Lane, Walsden Water, and more.
Greater Manchester Police has also declared a ‘major incident’, warning residents that flooding is now expected in several parts of the region.
Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey – Chair of the GM Strategic Coordination Group for Storm Christoph – said: “In order to ensure that we’re as prepared as possible for the heavy rainfall expected from Storm Christoph, we have declared a major incident.
“The safety of the public is our number one priority and we’re continuing to work alongside partner agencies across the region.
“Whilst we appreciate that everyone has been told to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic, we want to make it clear that should members of the public need to evacuate to protect themselves due to flooding then that is the priority and you should follow your local authority’s advice regarding evacuation.”
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