Over 400 homes in areas of south Manchester have now been evacuated over flooding risks as Storm Franklin continues to batter the region.
After the arrival of Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice meant that Greater Manchester and widespread parts of the country were to hit by two storms within three days last week, with strong winds, heavy rain, snow and ‘blizzard conditions’ in some areas, travel chaos on roads and train lines, and thousands of homes left without power, Storm Franklin was named over the weekend.
The Met Office confirmed the naming of the storm on Saturday morning, and forecast that it would bring “strong winds and heavy rain to the UK on Sunday and Monday”.
A yellow weather warning for wind has been issued for much of the country.
As per the warning, the Met Office says that people could see some damage to buildings, trees/branches being brought down, transport services affected by delays and cancellations, some roads and bridges required to close, and power outages.
Injuries and “danger to life “could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads, and properties, the Met Office also said.
Following the naming of the storm, the North West branch of the Environment Agency yesterday issued alerts – which indicates “a possible danger to life” – for 430 properties in Didsbury and Northenden after he River Mersey reached record levels.
The Environment Agency said the flood gates were opened.
Police went door-to-door asking people to evacuate, and people left their homes to stay in hotels or with relatives, while Didsbury Mosque also offered shelter – however, despite the River Mersey reaching a record high, water levels were said to have peaked at midnight, before receding in the early hours.
Two severe flood warnings are still in place.
This is by no means the first time this area of the region has had to be evacuated due to flood risks, as last January, more than 2,000 properties in Didsbury and Northenden were evacuated after during Storm Christoph.
Homes in the area did however escape serious flooding when river levels came “within centimetres” of breaching defences.
Following last year’s storm, volunteers at Fletcher Moss Park – which is near flood basins for south Manchester – called for better environmental management after parts of the area flooded and benches were knocked over by rushing water.
Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, has provided an update on the situation in south Manchester this morning, explaining on Twitter that: “Thankfully after the peak at 4am, emergency evacuation operations on the ground were stood down and we got through the night without any flooding or damage to properties.
“Thanks again to everyone involved and to the hundreds of residents who were impacted.”
She also thanked representatives from the Council, the Environment Agency, GMP, Manchester Fire Service, and local volunteers “who have been at it all day and into the night”.
Elsewhere across Greater Manchester, road and rail services in some parts of the region have been affected this morning due to heavy rains, strong winds, and in some cases, obstruction to the lines, which has prompted a number of local transport providers to urge people not to travel, or delay journeys until after 10am.
Several south Manchester A roads are currently experiencing delays, while he M60 is closed in both directions near J10 due to an overturned lorry, and a tree is currently said to be blocking the railway lines between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport.
Some Metrolink services have also been affected for similar reasons.
The yellow weather warning amid Storm Franklin is set to end at 1pm today (21 February), with rain expected to lighten off and stop by 12pm.
This Manchester restaurant serves an all-vegan roast with ‘meat’ and all the trimmings
A Manchester vegan restaurant is serving an all-vegan roast with mock ‘meat’ and all the trimmings, putting an ethical twist on the British Sunday classic.Keen to see if it’s worth the hype, I took a trip down to try it out for myself – and left feeling pretty impressed.
Not being a vegan personally, I enlisted the help of two friends of the plant-powered persuasion to accompany me to get a real feel for every option.
Suffice it to say, it was a success and, whilst I won’t be converting to veganism any time soon, it’s nice to know that there are options out there for when I feel like being ‘good’.
With three different roast choices on offer, Wholesome Junkies is the first restaurant in the city centre to venture past the usual vegan choices of mushroom Wellington and roasted squash and go all-out with a variety of mock meat options.
Meats have been created in partnership with Liverpool vegan brand CB Sushi, using their mock beef and turkey joints to give vegans the feeling of a ‘proper’ roast.
Think glazed ‘turkey’ filled with stuffing, medallions of ‘beef’ and crispy deep-fried oyster mushrooms, all served with lashings of onion gravy, ‘buttered’ seasonal greens, glazed carrots and parsnips, deep-fried stuffing balls, crispy roasties and fluffy Yorkshire puddings created by Mabel’s.
Having tried all three, I have to say that my favourite was the turkey. It’s actually my least favourite meat to eat, so it was something of a surprise to find I enjoyed the vegan version much more than the real thing.
The texture was spot on, and there was none of the dryness you typically associate with the bird. Washed down with a pint of locally-brewed Cloudwater Fuzzy Hazy Pale Ale, it absolutely hit the spot.
Coming in a close second was the deep-fried oyster mushroom roast, which was so packed with flavour that it almost felt like I was eating fried chicken with my Sunday dinner.
As for the beef, it didn’t really do it for me – tasting more of herbs than red meat, but then, I don’t suppose there are many vegans queueing up the block for a bloody meat substitute.
Wholesome Junkies has long been a favourite with Manchester vegans. First shooting to fame in 2018 with an appearance on BBC2’s Million Pound Menu, owner Chelsea appeared on the show to ask for 95,000 to open her own vegan junk food restaurant.
Prior to that, she’d been running her Wholesome Junkies concept as a street food pop-up at sites like Grub and Ancoats General Store.
Whilst her bid to impress the BBC judges was not successful at the time, the TV appearance put her on the map and within a year she had her own Arndale market stall.
Fast forward a few more, and in 2022 she opened her first bricks and mortar restaurant – taking over the former Umezushi site at 4 Mirabel Street.
Since moving in, she’s completely transformed it: decking it out in bright colours and filling every corner with quirky little ornaments and decorations.
Strings of fairy lights, hanging mushrooms and frames filled with pictures from local artists all make the small space feel incredibly warm and welcoming – and our visit the restaurant was absolutely packed.
At a time when so many vegan restaurants seem to be closing, it was an absolute joy to see so many bums on seats during our visit.
Veganuary might almost be over, but if you’re a vegan – or simply just trying to cut down on your meat consumption – it’s definitely worth giving this one a go.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Meet the couple who quit their jobs to sell sandwiches from their Northern Quarter flat
If you’re a fan of things in bread (and honestly, who isn’t) then there’s a new Italian sandwich dealer in town that you absolutely need to get down your neck.
Serving up some of the best butties we’ve had in a long time, it’s called Ad Maiora and is being run by a couple who are making absolutely everything out of a kitchen in their little Manchester flat.
Collected from a nondescript door on a Norther Quarter back street, we’re talking giant focaccia-style loaves generously stuffed with premium ingredients like ‘nduja, spicy Tuscan sausage, smoked scamorza, mortadella, burrata and red pesto.
The brainchild of Sardinian couple Daniela Steri and Enrico Pinna, all of their sandwiches are made using only top quality Italian ingredients with a total of nine different options to choose from.
From the vegan-friendly La Nonna (Italian hummus, roasted aubergine, olives, sundried tomatoes and rocket) to a huge array of different cheesy and meaty delights, fillings include parma ham, gorgonzola DOP, truffled brie, Milano salami and crumbled pistachios.
Their bread is baked freshly by hand each morning using a tiny domestic oven, and they’re already baking up to 60 loaves of schiacciata (a traditional Tuscan flatbread) a day to keep up with the demand – putting just four in the oven at a time, over and over again.
On our visit, the pair tell us that they moved over from Sardinia to the UK six years ago and first tried living in London for a year (they say they hated it) before making the move up to Manchester.
In that time, they say they’ve fallen in love with the city of Manchester and with the Northern Quarter in particular.
Inspired by the brilliant food scene in their area, two months ago they both decided to pack in their jobs and pursue their own business instead – and haven’t looked back since.
Previously, Daniela tells us she’d worked at hotel Dakota in housekeeping for three years whilst her partner, Enrico, had been employed at Ezra and Gil. Despite their hospitality experience, though, neither of them had made bread before.
That doesn’t seem to be holding them back, though, and demand for their sandwiches is rocketing as word spreads about the new homemade Italian butties for sale on a Manchester backstreet.