Environment Agency working with communities across the north west to help them recover from damage left by winter storms

Operations are under way to help communities across Lancashire recover from the damage left behind by Storm Christoph.

Thursday, 28th January 2021, 3:45 pm

Environment Agency teams have been on the ground in affected communities, including Garstang, Ribchester and Wigan, since the first bout of heavy and persistent rain over the week of January 18.

Through a combination of operating defences and assets, the Agency was able to protect more than 6,261 properties and businesses and warn around 3,805 people in advance of Christoph’s arrival. However, even with those measures in place, the severe weather caused nine properties across Cumbria and Lancashire to be affected by flooding, with the Environment Agency still gathering vital post-flood information to determine the total figure.

Keith Ashcroft, Area Director for Cumbria and Lancashire said: “We would like to thank our communities, partners and staff who have shown a rapid, dedicated response to the intense and unprecedented rainfall brought on by Storm Christoph.

Temporary flood barriers at Ribchester, put in place by the Environment Agency during Storm Christoph in January 2021

“Over the week, our teams operated our flood storage reservoirs in Catterall, Garstang, Croston, Wigan, Wigton and Lunt. 350m temporary barriers were also erected at Ribchester and Billington. We are continuing to check our defences after the severe weather and are operating them as needed to help keep people and properties safe. We are also inspecting all the tested assets in the coming days and weeks and will undertake repairs as needed.

“The focus now is on recovery. The Environment Agency’s flood assets protected thousands of homes and businesses but sadly, some communities across the North West did suffer from flooding and we need to help them recover as quickly as possible.

“We are doing everything we can to support our communities. Alongside our partners, we are coordinating our field teams out on the ground in affected areas. They continue to work around the clock. Our Community information Officers have also been in touch with residents and business owners to offer information and advice as well as signposting people to help by working with Local Authorities.

“Last week demonstrated how unpredictable our weather can be so we would ask everyone to remain vigilant and sign up for our free flood warnings or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.”

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.