Storm Christopher: Thousands Evacuated Amid Flood Warnings

NATURAL DISASTER WARNINGS

More than two thousand properties in Greater Manchester were being evacuated overnight due to flooding from Storm Christopher. Widespread flooding has devastated northern communities, while inundated areas were also hit by snow.

Four severe "danger to life" warnings are in place in the North West, including West Didsbury, East Didsbury, Heatley and Northenden.

For more information about how to stay safe, please see our safety ADVISORY.

Safety Tips – Floods


Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is usually dry. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering floodwaters can lead to injury or death!

 

What to do

  • Move to higher ground or a higher floor
  • Prepare emergency supplies (First Aid)
  • Prepare an emergency food and water supply
  • Listen to your local radio or television station for updates
  • If you have an internet connection monitor live news
  • If evacuation appears necessary: turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve.
  • Have an emergency escape plan ready
  • Charge cell phone
  • If you feel threatened by rising water, leave your home or move to upper floors

Stay safe

  • Unplug all electrical items and store them away from floodwaters
  • Move all inhabitants and pets to safe locations
  • Use the internet, radio and local media for news updates
  • Beware of and watch for structural damages, such as falling walls and ceilings
  • Store any irreplaceable family items and important documents somewhere safe
  • Avoid low spots, like ditches, basements, or underpasses
  • Stay off the bridges over fast-moving water
  • Don’t drive through floodwaters. If stuck, exit the car and move to higher ground
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water

What to do After

  • Avoid driving through flooded areas and standing water
  • If you evacuated: return to your home only after local authorities have said it is safe to do so
  • Listen to water advisory from local authorities to find out if your water is safe for drinking and bathing
  • Avoid moving water
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded
  • Check for structural damage before going inside
  • Begin initial clean-up as soon as waters recede, separating damaged from undamaged items
  • When cleaning, wear a mask, gloves and coveralls to minimize exposure to possible hazardous materials


Advice

  • If trapped, try to contact 112 and stay by a window to attempt to signal someone outside.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters
  • Do not eat or drink anything exposed to the likely contaminated floodwaters
  • Do not use potentially contaminated water for washing or food preparations
  • Do not leave doors and windows unlocked when leaving your property due to high incidences of looting
  • If you must walk in water, wherever possible, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you