Council’s highways teams prepare for more grim weather – plea to residents to stay safe but ‘don’t hesitate to call us if you need us’
Cheshire East Council’s highways service has been faced with the challenge of intense rainfall, snow and ice as the new year delivers some severe weather events.
Teams have been engaged in a pattern of near constant gritting because of snow and ice, while also dealing with flooding on the borough’s roads.
Although Cheshire East has, so far, escaped the degree of flooding experienced elsewhere in the region, groundwater levels are high meaning large areas of land remain saturated after Storm Christoph brought a month’s worth of rain in just two days.
With more heavy rain forecast this week, residents are advised to call the council to report any impact on homes or business premises. During working hours, they should call 0300 123 5020, or out of normal hours, 0300 123 5025.
In an emergency, or where there is a risk to life, residents should dial 999.
Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and waste, said: “I want to thank all our highways staff for their hard work during this spell of extremely adverse weather. I know that they have been operating under enormous pressure.
“They have responded to nearly 700 flood reports and had to close 30 of our roads which had become flooded. In addition, they have been out night after night gritting all key routes, the higher routes to the east of the borough above Macclesfield and Congleton especially.
“But it is important that, despite the pandemic restrictions on movement, our residents don’t put themselves or their homes at risk and that they follow any instructions from the emergency services.
“I would also appeal to landowners with watercourses on their property to deal with any potential obstacles that could cause localised flooding.”
The council continues to work with town and parish councils, ward members, the Environment Agency and emergency services as part of its established flood risk management strategy.
Motorists are advised not to drive through flood water or moving water near rivers and parents are urged to keep an eye on their children to make sure they are not playing near flood water. No one should enter flood water owing to hidden dangers and contamination.
Residents should check if they live in a flood-risk area. If they do, they can get help to draw up a flood plan and register for flood warnings.
For flood risk areas visit: https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/long-term-flood-risk