Heavy downpours spark rescues and evacuations as flooding hits parts of UK

Homes have been evacuated and stranded people rescued as heavy downpours caused flooding across parts of the UK.

A major incident was declared late on Wednesday in Poynton, Cheshire, due to “severe flooding”.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) said firefighters, emergency services personnel and staff from Highways England were helping those affected, with a rest centre established at Poynton Civic Hall.

Police urged people not to ignore “road closed” signs by driving or walking through water.

“Your car could become submerged and the road underneath could have collapsed, putting you in danger,” the Macclesfield North and Poynton police Twitter account said.

CFRS added: “Please bear with us, crews and police officers are working very hard to get to those in need and the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Poynton Fire Station said its crews had been to more than 20 incidents, including rescuing at least 11 people from flood water in the area over a four-hour stretch.

Police in nearby Wilmslow also said its officers were “dealing with flooding” and had evacuated affected residents, with Oakenclough Children’s Centre open as a rest centre.

The Environment Agency put out multiple flood warnings and alerts covering central, north-west and north-east England on Wednesday.

Forecasters at the Met Office also issued an all-day yellow warning of heavy rain and thunderstorms, covering a large swathe of England northwards from Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln.

Photos shared on social media showed the aftermath of heavy rain that struck Horwich, Bolton, on Wednesday afternoon.

Jess, 20, was caught in the “mammoth” rain which flooded roads to “shin height”, according to posts she shared on Twitter.

“I had my dog with me and as we crossed the road she almost got swept away, so I had to pull her across to me and pick her up,” she told PA.

“I then waded through the rest of the water, about a foot and a half deep. I’ve never seen water that deep in such a residential area before.”

Jess, who chose not to reveal her second name, said she told a mother with her child in a pram not to cross the street as it would have been “way too deep”.

Further showers are due on Thursday but they are not expected to be as heavy, with no weather warnings in place.

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