Storm Christoph sees rivers in Manchester and Wales reach highest levels ever

Emergency services were today try to protect a factory involved in making a Covid-19 vaccine from being deluged as Storm Christoph saw thousands of people including entire villages evacuated amid widespread flooding.

Teams were working through the night to protect the site at Wrexham Industrial Estate in North Wales, which is involved in making the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine which is also stored there. 

After two months’ worth of rain fell over parts of the UK, the River Mersey threatened to burst its banks in Didsbury as water levels rose to a record high – prompting a mass evacuation in parts of Greater Manchester.

Families woke up in emergency accommodation today after 2,000 homes were evacuated in East and West Didsbury and Northenden, as water levels rose to 3.27m (10.7ft) – beating the previous high of 3m (9.8ft) in 2016.

The Environment Agency issued two threat to life flood warnings for the area, while two more were issued nearby for the River Bollin – one at Little Bollington and the other at Heatley. A further 198 flood warnings and 223 less severe flood alerts were issued across England as rivers in Northumberland and Yorkshire also overflowed. 

The River Dee in Wales reached 16.4m (53.8ft) – higher than the previous record of 16.35m (53.6ft) in 2011, sparking an evacuation of the village of Bangor-on-Dee were residents were told to wait for specialist 4x4s to pick them up.

Wrexham council leader Mark Pritchard told BBC Radio Wales: ‘We had an incident at Wrexham Industrial Estate, the Oxford vaccination is produced there and the warehouse where it is stored. Obviously I can’t tell you where it is, but we had to work in partnership to make sure we didn’t lose the vaccinations in the floods.’

The plant has been tasked with making 300million doses of the vaccine per year but its location is close to the River Dee which was at its highest recorded level since the water gauge became operational in 1996. 

The flooding risk at the Wrexham factory comes amid uncertainty over the speed of Britain’s vaccine rollout, with ministers blaming ‘supply constraints’ for a three-day blip that raised fears the NHS drive had stalled.

But official data yesterday sparked hopes it was still on track, as more than 346,000 jabs were given on Tuesday. Boris Johnson insisted the UK was still on schedule to inoculate 14million vulnerable people by mid-February.

In order to meet the lockdown-easing target, the Government must average more than 350,000 doses a day from now until February 15, with the previous bullish tone from officials getting toned down in recent days.

Pfizer’s supplies have been dented by a factory upgrade which will continue into next month. Sources also cite factors such as ‘intermittent’ deliveries and trouble contacting the remaining over-80s and covering care homes.

MPs have also voiced concern at the way supplies have been divvied out. In London – which has given the fewest jabs – the allocation is said to have been based on take-up of last season’s flu vaccine, which was relatively low.

Today, the Welsh Government urged people not travel unless essential, with a severe warning in place for the Dee along with 35 flood warnings and 47 alerts issued by Natural Resources Wales. Scotland had six alerts in place.

Areas suffered heavy rain overnight, with one resident of Haslemere in Surrey telling MailOnline of the scene at about 10pm last night. He said: ‘It was Biblical. The rain was coming down sideways like in a bad American movie.

‘I saw some poor chap walking his dog and he was absolutely drenched, he looked like he had just given up and accepted it. It was honestly like someone had switched on the shower. I’ve never seen anything like it.’

Looking ahead, the Met Office issued a swathe of weather warnings across Britain for today which run up until midday tomorrow – with Scotland facing more snow and rain, and northern England facing the threat of ice.  

Boris Johnson yesterday summoned a Cobra meeting to co-ordinate the national response to Storm Christoph, and Downing Street insisted Covid-secure facilities will be available for anyone forced to leave their homes.  

A Derbyshire police car is seen abandoned at Darley Abbey in Derby today after the road was closed due to the heavy rain

A Derbyshire police car is seen abandoned at Darley Abbey in Derby today after the road was closed due to the heavy rain

A Derbyshire police car is seen abandoned at Darley Abbey in Derby today after the road was closed due to the heavy rain

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves London this morning to survey the floods in a RAF Helicopter with a security detail

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves London this morning to survey the floods in a RAF Helicopter with a security detail

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves London this morning to survey the floods in a RAF Helicopter with a security detail

The Royal Air Force helicopter prepares to leave London carrying Prime Minister Boris Johnson on board this morning

The Royal Air Force helicopter prepares to leave London carrying Prime Minister Boris Johnson on board this morning

The Royal Air Force helicopter prepares to leave London carrying Prime Minister Boris Johnson on board this morning

Police and fire crews in North Wales helped rescue residents whose properties flooded in Wrexham overnight

Police and fire crews in North Wales helped rescue residents whose properties flooded in Wrexham overnight

Police and fire crews in North Wales helped rescue residents whose properties flooded in Wrexham overnight

Gabrielle Burns-Smith in her flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

Gabrielle Burns-Smith in her flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

Gabrielle Burns-Smith in her flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

Storm Christoph caused the River Irwell at Salford in Greater Manchester to burst its banks, pictured this morning

Storm Christoph caused the River Irwell at Salford in Greater Manchester to burst its banks, pictured this morning

Storm Christoph caused the River Irwell at Salford in Greater Manchester to burst its banks, pictured this morning

A man is rescued after his car was swept away in raging floodwater between Llandegai and Bangor in North Wales last night

A man is rescued after his car was swept away in raging floodwater between Llandegai and Bangor in North Wales last night

A man is rescued after his car was swept away in raging floodwater between Llandegai and Bangor in North Wales last night

Fire services pump out flooded properties at Crickhowell in Powys last night after the River Usk burst its banks

Fire services pump out flooded properties at Crickhowell in Powys last night after the River Usk burst its banks

Fire services pump out flooded properties at Crickhowell in Powys last night after the River Usk burst its banks

Storm Christoph causes major flooding in Middlesbrough this morning as motorists leave their cars

Storm Christoph causes major flooding in Middlesbrough this morning as motorists leave their cars

Storm Christoph causes major flooding in Middlesbrough this morning as motorists leave their cars

A wintry scene as snow-covered rooftops dominate the skyline of Leadgate in County Durham this morning

A wintry scene as snow-covered rooftops dominate the skyline of Leadgate in County Durham this morning

A wintry scene as snow-covered rooftops dominate the skyline of Leadgate in County Durham this morning

Forecast for today

Forecast for today

Flood alerts

Flood alerts

Further severe weather is expected for parts of Britain today (left), and the Environment Agency issued two threat to life flood warnings, 198 flood warnings (both in red) and 223 less severe flood alerts (in orange) across England as rivers overflowed

Weather warnings today

Weather warnings today

Weather warnings tomorrow

Weather warnings tomorrow

The Met Office has issued a series of weather warnings today (left), some of which run until midday tomorrow (right)

Cheshire Police said 33 residents of houseboats in Northwich had been evacuated due to the level of the River Weaver.

Up to twice the normal January rainfall is expected in places – with the worst-affected areas predicted to have seen up to 200mm (8ins) over nearly three days. 

Grahame Madge, of the Met Office, said: ‘We are expecting significant totals of rainfall and when you combine that with snowmelt it can lead to localised flooding across the affected regions.’

Councils were left scrambling to evacuate people and shore up flood defences, made all the trickier by the need to keep confirmed cases of Covid-19 away from other people fleeing their homes.

There was also an evacuation of homes at Ruthin in North Wales and Maghull in Merseyside. Manchester City Council set up a Covid-safe emergency rest centre at Wythenshawe Forum for those displaced. 

Others were allowed to stay with friends and families, with the council ensuring them no legal action will be taken if they need to stay somewhere else due to the flood risk.   

Teams were working overnight to protect the Covid-19 vaccine site at Wrexham Industrial Estate in North Wales (file image)

Teams were working overnight to protect the Covid-19 vaccine site at Wrexham Industrial Estate in North Wales (file image)

Teams were working overnight to protect the Covid-19 vaccine site at Wrexham Industrial Estate in North Wales (file image)

Gabrielle Burns-Smith and her dog Tag in their flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

Gabrielle Burns-Smith and her dog Tag in their flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

Gabrielle Burns-Smith and her dog Tag in their flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

The River Towy at Carmarthen in South Wales burst its banks overnight as Storm Christoph brought heavy rain to the area

The River Towy at Carmarthen in South Wales burst its banks overnight as Storm Christoph brought heavy rain to the area

The River Towy at Carmarthen in South Wales burst its banks overnight as Storm Christoph brought heavy rain to the area

A van drives through a flooded road on Brickwall Lane in Liverpool this morning as Storm Christoph brings heavy rain

A van drives through a flooded road on Brickwall Lane in Liverpool this morning as Storm Christoph brings heavy rain

A van drives through a flooded road on Brickwall Lane in Liverpool this morning as Storm Christoph brings heavy rain

A council worker in Didsbury, Manchester, checks a bridge over the River Mersey today for damage after heavy rainfall

A council worker in Didsbury, Manchester, checks a bridge over the River Mersey today for damage after heavy rainfall

A council worker in Didsbury, Manchester, checks a bridge over the River Mersey today for damage after heavy rainfall

A vehicles tries to make its way through flooding in Middlesbrough this morning as Storm Christoph causes chaos

A vehicles tries to make its way through flooding in Middlesbrough this morning as Storm Christoph causes chaos

A vehicles tries to make its way through flooding in Middlesbrough this morning as Storm Christoph causes chaos

A pedestrian takes a photograph of the River Irwell this morning after it burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester

A pedestrian takes a photograph of the River Irwell this morning after it burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester

A pedestrian takes a photograph of the River Irwell this morning after it burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester

Gabrielle Burns-Smith looks out from her flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

Gabrielle Burns-Smith looks out from her flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

Gabrielle Burns-Smith looks out from her flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

A council worker in Didsbury, Manchester, checks a bridge over the River Mersey today for damage after heavy rainfall

A council worker in Didsbury, Manchester, checks a bridge over the River Mersey today for damage after heavy rainfall

A council worker in Didsbury, Manchester, checks a bridge over the River Mersey today for damage after heavy rainfall

The entrance to Sefton recycling centre in Liverpool is flooded as Storm Christoph brings heavy rains across Britain

The entrance to Sefton recycling centre in Liverpool is flooded as Storm Christoph brings heavy rains across Britain

The entrance to Sefton recycling centre in Liverpool is flooded as Storm Christoph brings heavy rains across Britain 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks towards an RAF helicopter in London this morning as he prepares to survey the floods

Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks towards an RAF helicopter in London this morning as he prepares to survey the floods

Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks towards an RAF helicopter in London this morning as he prepares to survey the floods

Boris Johnson departs London this morning in the RAF helicopter with a security detail to survey the floods

Boris Johnson departs London this morning in the RAF helicopter with a security detail to survey the floods

Boris Johnson departs London this morning in the RAF helicopter with a security detail to survey the floods

The Prime Minister waves as he leaves London this morning in a RAF helicopter with a security detail

The Prime Minister waves as he leaves London this morning in a RAF helicopter with a security detail

The Prime Minister waves as he leaves London this morning in a RAF helicopter with a security detail

The RAF helicopter carrying the Prime Minister leaves London this morning as he travels to survey the flooding

The RAF helicopter carrying the Prime Minister leaves London this morning as he travels to survey the flooding

The RAF helicopter carrying the Prime Minister leaves London this morning as he travels to survey the flooding

Lee Rowlinson, from the Environment Agency, was in Didsbury today. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the river level was ‘shocking,’ adding: ‘What I’m really pleased with is the actions of the Environment Agency meant we managed to take the peak off the river so that it didn’t top its banks and flood those properties but we were very, very close.

‘We were within centimetres and we’re not out of the woods yet. The difficulty is that it’s still raining up in the uplands, it may not be raining here in Cheshire and Manchester as heavily now, but the uplands are still getting some of that rainfall and the water has to come down through the rivers we’re being vigilant for the next couple of days.

‘We have our staff out for days before these events and for long days afterwards to try and ensure the rivers and the water can flow as freely and quickly to get away so we can get people back into their homes as quickly as possible.  We’ve protected hundreds of properties through this event here.’ 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to heed the flood warnings and evacuate their properties when told to do so.

Lib Dem councillor Richard Kilpatrick said he was among those who had to evacuate overnight after police came knocking on doors in The Beeches in Didsbury, with the local mosque opening its doors. 

The River Irwell, pictured this morning, burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester at the forecourt of the Lowry Hotel

The River Irwell, pictured this morning, burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester at the forecourt of the Lowry Hotel

The River Irwell, pictured this morning, burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester at the forecourt of the Lowry Hotel

Storm Christoph causes flooding in Middlesbrough this morning as some vehicles become stranded

Storm Christoph causes flooding in Middlesbrough this morning as some vehicles become stranded

Storm Christoph causes flooding in Middlesbrough this morning as some vehicles become stranded

A council worker in Didsbury, Manchester, checks a bridge over the River Mersey today for damage after heavy rainfall

A council worker in Didsbury, Manchester, checks a bridge over the River Mersey today for damage after heavy rainfall

A council worker in Didsbury, Manchester, checks a bridge over the River Mersey today for damage after heavy rainfall

Storm Christoph caused the River Irwell in Salford to burst its banks overnight, with the waters slowly edging back today

Storm Christoph caused the River Irwell in Salford to burst its banks overnight, with the waters slowly edging back today

Storm Christoph caused the River Irwell in Salford to burst its banks overnight, with the waters slowly edging back today 

A flooded road in Liverpool is pictured this morning after Storm Christoph brought heavy rain across parts of Britain

A flooded road in Liverpool is pictured this morning after Storm Christoph brought heavy rain across parts of Britain

A flooded road in Liverpool is pictured this morning after Storm Christoph brought heavy rain across parts of Britain 

Snow-covered houses at Higher Folds in Leigh, Greater Manchester, this morning as Storm Christoph continues to play havoc

Snow-covered houses at Higher Folds in Leigh, Greater Manchester, this morning as Storm Christoph continues to play havoc

Snow-covered houses at Higher Folds in Leigh, Greater Manchester, this morning as Storm Christoph continues to play havoc

Gabrielle Burns-Smith looks out from her flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

Gabrielle Burns-Smith looks out from her flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

Gabrielle Burns-Smith looks out from her flooded home on the outskirts of Lymm in Cheshire this morning

A bridge over the River Irwell is pictured this morning after it burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester

A bridge over the River Irwell is pictured this morning after it burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester

A bridge over the River Irwell is pictured this morning after it burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester

A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella as they walk over the River Irwell this morning after it bursts its banks at Salford

A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella as they walk over the River Irwell this morning after it bursts its banks at Salford

A pedestrian shelters under an umbrella as they walk over the River Irwell this morning after it bursts its banks at Salford

The River Irwell burst its banks at Salford at the forecourt of the Lowry Hotel in Greater Manchester, pictured this morning

The River Irwell burst its banks at Salford at the forecourt of the Lowry Hotel in Greater Manchester, pictured this morning

The River Irwell burst its banks at Salford at the forecourt of the Lowry Hotel in Greater Manchester, pictured this morning

Pathways alongside the River Irwell were blocked this morning after it burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester

Pathways alongside the River Irwell were blocked this morning after it burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester

Pathways alongside the River Irwell were blocked this morning after it burst its banks at Salford in Greater Manchester

Environment Agency workers deliver huge sandbags to the residents of Didsbury in Greater Manchester this morning

Environment Agency workers deliver huge sandbags to the residents of Didsbury in Greater Manchester this morning

Environment Agency workers deliver huge sandbags to the residents of Didsbury in Greater Manchester this morning

Councillor Richard Kilpatrick takes refuge at Didsbury Mosque in Greater Manchester after he was told to evacuate last night

Councillor Richard Kilpatrick takes refuge at Didsbury Mosque in Greater Manchester after he was told to evacuate last night

Councillor Richard Kilpatrick takes refuge at Didsbury Mosque in Greater Manchester after he was told to evacuate last night

Police officers talk to a resident in a street of Didsbury in Greater Manchester this morning

Police officers talk to a resident in a street of Didsbury in Greater Manchester this morning

Police officers talk to a resident in a street of Didsbury in Greater Manchester this morning

He told the Manchester Evening News: ‘The atmosphere has been a mixture of anxiety and disbelief I think. I helped door knocking to inform residents. We are fine and spirits are high. We just don’t expect it to happen here, the defences have always been enough.’

North Wales Police said its officers were helping the fire service to evacuate homes in Ruthin, Denbighshire, and urged people to avoid the area.

The force tweeted: ‘Officers have been called to assist @DenbighshireCC and @NWFRS in £Ruthin, where some homes are being evacuated.

‘Regrettably, people who do not live locally are driving to the area to ‘see the floods’. Please do not stretch our resources by adding to the problem.’

The force also urged residents of Bangor on Dee to head to Ysgol Sant Dunawd for shelter after the severe flood warning was issued for the area.

Wrexham Council said it was ‘working with partners to address any need for temporary rest centres for residents likely to be affected’. 

A road in Didsbury, Greater Manchester, today where residents were told to evacuate due to the potential of flooding

A road in Didsbury, Greater Manchester, today where residents were told to evacuate due to the potential of flooding

A road in Didsbury, Greater Manchester, today where residents were told to evacuate due to the potential of flooding

People carry and wheel their possessions through the town centre of Didsbury in Greater Manchester at 2.30am this morning

People carry and wheel their possessions through the town centre of Didsbury in Greater Manchester at 2.30am this morning

People carry and wheel their possessions through the town centre of Didsbury in Greater Manchester at 2.30am this morning

The River Ouse in York floods this morning as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels in North Yorkshire

The River Ouse in York floods this morning as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels in North Yorkshire

The River Ouse in York floods this morning as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels in North Yorkshire

Roads are closed alongside the River Ouse in York this morning following flooding amid rain and recent melting snow

Roads are closed alongside the River Ouse in York this morning following flooding amid rain and recent melting snow

Roads are closed alongside the River Ouse in York this morning following flooding amid rain and recent melting snow

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels in the North Yorkshire city today

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels in the North Yorkshire city today

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels in the North Yorkshire city today

An access slipway to the River Ouse in York floods this morning as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels

An access slipway to the River Ouse in York floods this morning as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels

An access slipway to the River Ouse in York floods this morning as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels

The River Ouse in York floods this morning after heavy rain and melting snow caused flooding in areas of the UK

The River Ouse in York floods this morning after heavy rain and melting snow caused flooding in areas of the UK

The River Ouse in York floods this morning after heavy rain and melting snow caused flooding in areas of the UK

A beer keg is washed up against railings as the River Ouse in York floods with North Yorkshire hit by severe weather

A beer keg is washed up against railings as the River Ouse in York floods with North Yorkshire hit by severe weather

A beer keg is washed up against railings as the River Ouse in York floods with North Yorkshire hit by severe weather

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The gardens of riverside properties are flooded as the River Ouse in York floods this morning

The gardens of riverside properties are flooded as the River Ouse in York floods this morning

The gardens of riverside properties are flooded as the River Ouse in York floods this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Streets alongside the River Ouse in York flood as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Streets alongside the River Ouse in York flood as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Streets alongside the River Ouse in York flood as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Streets alongside the River Ouse in York flood as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Streets alongside the River Ouse in York flood as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Streets alongside the River Ouse in York flood as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Meanwhile, residents in Maghull were advised to leave their properties as soon as possible after a severe flood warning was issued, Sefton Council said.

A council spokesman said heavy rain had led to raised water levels and flooding from the River Alt which was set to increase.

‘Water levels at Dover Brook, near the River Alt, reached 2.5m today, which is unprecedented for that area, modelling from the Environment Agency, including anticipated overnight rainfall, will take that level to 3.5m,’ the spokesman said.

Downing Street said Covid-secure facilities would be available for any people forced to evacuate as a result of the weather.

Mr Johnson said steps were being taken to ensure the transport and energy networks were prepared so that electricity outages would not be ‘severe’ and that there were sufficient supplies of sandbags.

He told reporters: ‘There are some times where I have been to scenes where, alas, people have decided not to obey the advice and not evacuated. 

Pumps operate from premises on the River Ouse in York as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Pumps operate from premises on the River Ouse in York as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Pumps operate from premises on the River Ouse in York as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Streets alongside the River Ouse in York flood as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Streets alongside the River Ouse in York flood as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Streets alongside the River Ouse in York flood as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods a neighbouring park as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods a neighbouring park as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods a neighbouring park as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Roads are closed alongside the River Ouse in York following flooding as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels today

Roads are closed alongside the River Ouse in York following flooding as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels today

Roads are closed alongside the River Ouse in York following flooding as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels today

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Roads are closed alongside the River Ouse in York following flooding as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels today

Roads are closed alongside the River Ouse in York following flooding as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels today

Roads are closed alongside the River Ouse in York following flooding as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels today

A taxi office is protected by defences today as the River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels

A taxi office is protected by defences today as the River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels

A taxi office is protected by defences today as the River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels

A council employee finishes constructing a pedestrian walkway across a street as the River Ouse in York floods today

A council employee finishes constructing a pedestrian walkway across a street as the River Ouse in York floods today

A council employee finishes constructing a pedestrian walkway across a street as the River Ouse in York floods today

Pumps operate from premises on the River Ouse in York as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Pumps operate from premises on the River Ouse in York as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Pumps operate from premises on the River Ouse in York as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

Flood barriers are closed as the River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels today

Flood barriers are closed as the River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels today

Flood barriers are closed as the River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels today

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

The River Ouse in York floods as rain and recent melting snow raise river levels this morning

‘It is their right not to do so if they choose – it’s always people’s right to stay wherever they are. But it really is advisable – follow the advice. If you are told to leave your home then you should do so.’

An amber warning was in place overnight, stretching from the East Midlands to the Lake District.

The alert warns of the risk of flooding and deep floodwaters which could pose a risk to life, and there are further warnings for snow and ice in Scotland.

An amber warning for snow in parts of southern Scotland warned around 30cm (1ft) could fall in areas above 400m, with up to 10cm (4ft) likely to accumulate in lower regions until 8am on Thursday.

Met Office forecaster John Griffiths said Aberllefenni in Wales had seen the UK’s highest amount of rainfall from Storm Christoph, with 187.8mm (7.39in) dumped over the last 56 hours.

He added Bolton in Greater Manchester recorded the highest rainfall in England at 150.4mm (5.92in) over the same amount of time – more than the region’s average for the entire month of January. 

A man rides a quad bike through heavy snow at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning

A man rides a quad bike through heavy snow at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning

A man rides a quad bike through heavy snow at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning

A resident clears snow from their path this morning at Leadgate in County Durham following flurries overnight

A resident clears snow from their path this morning at Leadgate in County Durham following flurries overnight

A resident clears snow from their path this morning at Leadgate in County Durham following flurries overnight

Snow covers the hills at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning with more weather warnings still in place

Snow covers the hills at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning with more weather warnings still in place

Snow covers the hills at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning with more weather warnings still in place

A motorist clears his van of snow this morning in Leadgate, County Durham

A motorist clears his van of snow this morning in Leadgate, County Durham

A motorist clears his van of snow this morning in Leadgate, County Durham

A man walks his dog through snow-covered roads at Allenhead in Northumberland this morning

A man walks his dog through snow-covered roads at Allenhead in Northumberland this morning

A man walks his dog through snow-covered roads at Allenhead in Northumberland this morning

A wintry scene as snow-covered vehicles line a residential street this morning in Leadgate, County Durham

A wintry scene as snow-covered vehicles line a residential street this morning in Leadgate, County Durham

A wintry scene as snow-covered vehicles line a residential street this morning in Leadgate, County Durham

Snow covers the hills at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning with more severe weather still on the way

Snow covers the hills at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning with more severe weather still on the way

Snow covers the hills at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning with more severe weather still on the way

A man walks his dog through snow-covered roads at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning

A man walks his dog through snow-covered roads at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning

A man walks his dog through snow-covered roads at Allenheads in Northumberland this morning

A man walks his dog through snow-covered roads in Allenheads, Northumberland, this morning

A man walks his dog through snow-covered roads in Allenheads, Northumberland, this morning

A man walks his dog through snow-covered roads in Allenheads, Northumberland, this morning

Mr Griffiths said although flooding was going to be an ‘ongoing issue’ for the UK over the next few days, it was ‘generally an improving picture’.

Flooding blocked the East Coast Main Line between Darlington and York, with a bus replacement service being set up, train operator LNER said.

There were also warnings that trains between Leeds and York could be affected due to disruption caused by flooding.The line between Rochdale and Walsden in West Yorkshire has also been blocked due to floods.

In Scotland, motorists are facing difficult driving conditions as Storm Christoph brings heavy snow and rain.

Traffic Scotland said the Queensferry Crossing was closed due to a ‘risk of falling ice’ while motorists were advised to drive with caution when crossing the A9 Dornoch Bridge due to high winds.  

Snow covers the village of Allenheads in Northumberland this morning as the Met Office issues a series of weather warnings

Snow covers the village of Allenheads in Northumberland this morning as the Met Office issues a series of weather warnings

Snow covers the village of Allenheads in Northumberland this morning as the Met Office issues a series of weather warnings

A dog walker crosses a snow covered field this morning in Windy Nook, Gateshead following overnight snow in the North East

A dog walker crosses a snow covered field this morning in Windy Nook, Gateshead following overnight snow in the North East

A dog walker crosses a snow covered field this morning in Windy Nook, Gateshead following overnight snow in the North East

The Angel of the North sculpture, designed by Antony Gormley, in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, stands in heavy snow today

The Angel of the North sculpture, designed by Antony Gormley, in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, stands in heavy snow today

The Angel of the North sculpture, designed by Antony Gormley, in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, stands in heavy snow today

The new Queensferry Crossing in Scotland is closed again due to sensors detecting the risk of falling ice this morning

The new Queensferry Crossing in Scotland is closed again due to sensors detecting the risk of falling ice this morning

The new Queensferry Crossing in Scotland is closed again due to sensors detecting the risk of falling ice this morning

An orange sky above snow covered fields at sunrise this morning in Windy Nook, Gateshead following overnight snow

An orange sky above snow covered fields at sunrise this morning in Windy Nook, Gateshead following overnight snow

An orange sky above snow covered fields at sunrise this morning in Windy Nook, Gateshead following overnight snow

The Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, is pictured today after snow blanketed much of the North East

The Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, is pictured today after snow blanketed much of the North East

The Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, is pictured today after snow blanketed much of the North East

The new Queensferry Crossing in Scotland is closed this morning due to sensors detecting the risk of falling ice

The new Queensferry Crossing in Scotland is closed this morning due to sensors detecting the risk of falling ice

The new Queensferry Crossing in Scotland is closed this morning due to sensors detecting the risk of falling ice

River levels reached records high in Wales and Greater Manchester overnight sparking mass evacuations in both areas

River levels reached records high in Wales and Greater Manchester overnight sparking mass evacuations in both areas

River levels reached records high in Wales and Greater Manchester overnight sparking mass evacuations in both areas 

Authorities have reminded people they should only travel for essential reasons under current coronavirus restrictions, and to take care if they do have to go out.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: ‘The Met Office is telling us that Storm Christoph is likely to bring another period of challenging weather to parts of Scotland over the next few days, particularly in the north and north-east of Scotland.

‘The current Covid restrictions mean you should only be leaving your home for an essential purpose, so please consider if your journey is absolutely necessary before setting off.

‘The forecast snow has potential to cause difficult driving conditions and disruption to the wider transport network, so if you have to make an essential journey during the warning period it’s important you plan your journey, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland travel advice.’

Operating company Bear South East said planned overnight works on the A68 near Lauder, Berwickshire, had been suspended due to the forecast. More than 100 gritters were out last night trying to keep major roads open.

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