Storm Dennis: North West prepares as Amber warnings issued

The North West is preparing to be hit by Storm Dennis over the weekend just one week after the region was battered by Storm Ciara.

An amber warning of rain has been issued for Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria, whilst yellow wind warnings are in place for the whole region.

Winds of up to 70mph and severe downpours are forecast.

The storm is expected to last from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon.

Sand bags are being put around homes in businesses in Whalley. Credit: ITV News

The environment agency has said there is a "heightened risk of flooding" for the North of England and flood barriers have been built in parts of Lancashire.

The agency's executive director of flood and coastal risk management, John Curtin, has said that Lancashire and Cumbria are two of the areas that he is most concerned about.

Meanwhile, Network Rail has advised passengers to expect disruption on many routes due to flooding and allow more time for their journeys.

Merseyrail have said that an "amended" timetable will be in place on the Chester and Ellesmere Port lines and that passengers should check before they travel.

Credit: Lancashire County Council

Households living near rail lines are being urged to secure any loose items in their gardens, after several trampolines were blown onto tracks and overhead electric wires last weekend, blocking lines.

The storm is also likely to cause treacherous driving conditions.

AA Patrol of the Year Ben Sheridan said: "The forecast looks bleak across the UK with warnings for wind and heavy rain which will significantly reduce visibility on the roads.

"For those who are braving the storm, drivers should make sure they account for the conditions. Slow down, allow for greater stopping distances and watch out for potential hazards."

Highways England has warned drivers to be on alert as winds of 40-50MPH are expected.

Head of Safety, Richard Leonard said: "In heavy rain, drivers should keep well back from the vehicle in front, gradually ease off the accelerator if the steering becomes unresponsive, and slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles makes it difficult to see and be seen.

"In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down."

Who to contact if there is flooding in your area:

  • Flood Line 0345 988 1188

  • Environment Incident Hotline 0800 80 70 60

  • You can also visit your local authority's website for information on flooding in your area.