Storm Christoph has brought severe flooding to roads and homes across Southport, Formby and elsewhere across Sefton today. 

More heavy rainfall is forecast to continue falling overnight, with a Met Office Yellow Warning for rain having now been upgraded to a more serious Amber Warning. The warning lasts until 6am tomorrow (Thursday 21 January) when the forecast turns to scattered showers. 

The Met Office is warning that “spells of prolonged and heavy rain may lead to flooding and disruption to travel in places.”

Flood Warnings are in place in Formby. 

People are being warned to beware homes and businesses becoming flooded, the possibility of fast flowing or deep floodwater, spray and flooding leading to difficult driving conditions and some road closures, and delays or cancellations to train and bus services. 

Northern is tonight advising customers across the North West of England not to travel due to increasingly poor conditions following torrential rain across the region. 

Due to flooding caused by heavy rainfall, services across the Merseyrail network are also meeting with severe disruption this evening.

Rail services between Southport and Hall Road were cancelled earlier this afternoon with a rail bus replacement service provided for passengers. 

The Met Office has issued two weather warnings for rain that cover our area, with two months’ worth of rain expected in the 60 hour window in some areas.

Sefton Council warns of flooding in parks and greenspaces

A Sefton Council spokesperson said: “Heavy rainfall has been forecast across the borough this week.

The Met office issued a yellow warning for rainfall, on Monday which has since been updated to an Amber Warning for many parts of the North West. 

“The Environment Agency has also issued two Flood Warnings and one Flood Alert for Sefton. 

“Our parks and green spaces are already quite wet from the wintry conditions experienced last week, which means that further disruption and flooding may be possible this week.

“Areas in our parks may become waterlogged with ‘ponding’ that may also affect pathways.

“Wider flooding is anticipated, with some roads and properties currently affected, including the closure of Sefton Lane in Maghull. The Council’s contactors are out and about across the Borough at hotspots to ensure that drainage systems are clear.

“The Council is already aware of flooding around Crosby Marine Lake and pumping is taking place to lower the high-water levels, but this will take some time.”

Flood Alert in place for large parts of Formby 

A Flood Alert is currently in place for a large area of Formby. 

The Environment Agency said: “River levels are rising at the Kirkby river gauge as a result of persistent heavy rainfall. Consequently, flooding of property/roads and farmland is possible until Thursday morning 21/01/21.

“Flooding is expected to affect low lying land and roads in the Plex Moss, Downholland Moss, Formby, Great Altcar, Maghull, Kirkby and Fazakerley areas. High river levels are possible on the River Alt, Sandy Brook, Fine Janes Brook, Cheshire Lines Brook, Sudell Brook, Whinney Brook, Simonswood Brook, Croxteth Brook, Kirkby Brook and their tributaries. Further rainfall is forecast throughout Wednesday 20/01/21.

“We expect river levels to remain high until Thursday morning 21/01/21. We are closely monitoring the situation. Our incident response staff are checking defences and clearing weed screens. Please avoid contact with flood water.”

Rail passengers urged not to travel this evening 

Northern is now advising customers across the North West of England not to travel due to increasingly poor conditions following torrential rain across the region. 

A number of routes have experienced issues with flooding during the day and several have seen closures and significant disruption.

As the rain continues to fall and flood waters rise flooding is becoming more widespread and colleagues across the rail industry are working hard to deal with issues as they arise.

Despite this hard work, flooding is persisting and it has become increasingly difficult to operate a reliable service.

Flood waters are also affected roads across the region meaning the provision of rail replacement transport is also challenging.

Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “We have worked all day, in conjunction with colleagues from across the industry, to keep our services operating. And, where possible we have supported those services with replacement buses when the flooding meant running trains was impossible.

“Unfortunately the situation is only getting worse and we have had to make the difficult decision to ask our customers not to travel on the Northern rail network in the north west for the rest of today (Wednesday).

“We will continue to work alongside Network Rail throughout the night to prepare for rail services to resume on Thursday morning, but I urge anyone who needs to make essential journeys tomorrow to allow extra time for travel and to check carefully before setting off.”

For up-to-the-minute information about rail services please visit National Rail Enquiries or @northernassist on Twitter.

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