Flooding and powercuts as Storm Franklin brings heavy rain and strong winds to North West

Video report by ITV Granada Reports journalist Sarah Rogers.

There is a sigh of relief for many living in parts of Greater Manchester after two severe flood warnings for the River Mersey were stood down.

Dozens of people in Didsbury and Wythenshawe spent the night in emergency accommodation, after being forced to leave their homes because of dangerously high river levels brought by Storm Franklin.

Water levels, which peaked at midnight on Monday, 21 February, receded in the early hours but flood alerts and flood warnings remain in place across the North West.

Flooding debris left in Didsbury after Storm Franklin. Credit: PA images

The Environment Agency issued two severe flood warnings for the River Mersey in East and West Didsbury overnight, but they have since been stood down.

Storm Franklin follows the disruption and damage of Dudley and Eunice, with experts saying it is the first time since 2015 that we have had three named storms in a week. 

Manchester City Council leader Bev Craig said that emergency evacuation operations had been stood down in Didsbury.

Councillor Craig said: "It is welcome relief that the Severe Flood Warning has now been removed for the River Mersey around West Didsbury and Northenden.

"However, a Flood Alert remains in place and will do most likely through the week until the flood basin in Didsbury empties.

"We're also expecting continued wet weather in the coming days and a Met Office weather warning is still in place. So please be careful if you need to travel today and through the week."

Resident Duclie Green was taken to Didsbury Mosque.

Engineers and emergency services have worked through the night to ease pressure of rising water levels by opening specially-designed flood gates.

Seven residents from sheltered accommodation in Didsbury were taken to Didsbury Mosque for the evening, where they were given food and drinks.

Residents from nearby sheltered accommodation were taken to Didsbury Mosque. Credit: ITV News


Storm Franklin has caused widespread travel problems with roads across the region closed.

A lorry overturned on the M60, which closed the road for several hours, and another lorry caught fire on the motorway.

There have been several delays at Manchester Airport and hundreds of trains have been cancelled due to strong winds.

An overturned lorry is removed on the M60, near Trafford Park in Manchester, after Storm Franklin moved in overnight. Credit: PA images

A spokesperson form the airport said: "Due to disruption caused by Storm Franklin today, passengers are advised to check with their airline for the most up-to-date flight information."We also advise allowing plenty of time for your journey to the airport, as road and rail networks may be affected."

Train operator Northern has suspended all services in north-west England until at least 10.30am “due to the severe weather and numerous incidents caused by Storm Franklin”.

It told passengers: “Do not attempt to travel, do not head to stations as there are no alternatives.”

TransPennine Express has also strongly urged customers to "avoid travel if possible" on Monday, particularly those planning to travel north of Preston in Lancashire.

There are severe delays for the Rochdale and Bury lines on Manchester Metrolink due to earlier tree down on the line. Tickets being accepted on local bus routes.

Tree destroys car in Liverpool after strong gusts from Storm Franklin. Credit: PA images


Electricity North West says work is underway to restore power to around 2,000 homes in Cumbria and Lancashire.

The strong winds have caused more than 50 separate incidents on the power network.

Stephanie Trubshaw, Electricity North West’s customer director, said: “We’ve had hundreds of people throughout the business on standby and they’re all focussing on restoring power as quickly as possible.

“I ask customers if they do see any damaged electricity equipment or lines down to stay away as it could be live and extremely dangerous. But, please do call us immediately on 105 so we can make the area safe.

“If anyone needs extra help during a power cut, I’d encourage them to sign up to our Priority Services Register so we will be able to prioritise assistance if affected.”

Tree down on Kentmere Road, Timperley. Credit: Greg Mape


A number of schools in Lancashire have closed due to the effects of Storm Franklin.

Kingsbury Primary School, on School Lane, in Skelmersdale, will be closed all day.

Our Lady and All Saints Catholic Primary School, in Skelmersdale, is closed due to extreme weather conditions and having a broken boiler.

Coates Lane school Barlick is closed after the storm caused considerable damage overnight across school.

St James' Catholic Primary School, in Skelmersdale, is closed due to extreme weather conditions and having a broken boiler.

Pupils at Ormskirk School, on Wigan Road, are also being asked to work remotely.

While some schools are closed, Ormskirk School will remain open for those who need it.