3pm UPDATE: Pool hire in ‘water hog’ to drain pitch

Winds are expected to reach 70mph today on the Fylde coast, accompanied by heavy rain.
Winds are expected to reach 70mph today on the Fylde coast, accompanied by heavy rain.
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FLOOD warnings were today in place as the Fylde coast woke up to a barrage of wild weather that is set to bring almost a month’s rain in just 24 hours.

The Environment Agency has issued 56 flood alerts with northern parts of England on high alert for localised flooding.

Winds are expected to reach 70mph with rainfall of up to 60mm – three quarters of a whole month’s average rainfall for September – expected to fall by tomorrow morning.

An amber weather warning has been issued for Lancashire.

Sandbags have been delivered to residents in Sunnyside Terrace in Preesall which has suffered from flooding in the past.

Fire stations across the Fylde say they are on alert for possible call outs later on Monday.

Blackpool FC remain confident tonight’s game against Huddersfield Town will go ahead as planned.

The club has drafted in a water hog - used to absorb large amounts of water - from Lancashire County Cricket Club as a precuation to ensure the game goes ahead.

A haulage firm has been hired to bring the machine from Old Trafford.

Heavy rain overnight has caused concern with staff at Bloomfield Road ahead of this evening’s televised match, kick-off 7.45pm.

However, the pitch is playable at the moment and there is no planned pitch inspection.

Should the rain continue to fall, officials say an inspection could take place later this afternoon, though the club remain confident the game will go ahead.

The gusts have already claimed the life on one woman who was killed by a falling tree branch in south west London yesterday afternoon.

Tom Tobler, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: “It’s almost a month’s rainfall in certain areas.

“It is certainly a lot of rain.

“There will be some flooding.

“I imagine the figure for total rainfall in the month will get up to the average tomorrow, if not above the average figure.”

It is a stark change from earlier in the month, when parts of Britain basked in warm temperatures in the mid-20s, a welcome break from the rain and wind which dogged much of July and August.

Last night, the Environment Agency warned people to be prepared for significant disruption.

Its director of operations, David Jordan, said: “We are expecting flooding across the country in to Monday and Tuesday.

“We strongly urge people to sign up to flood warnings, keep a close eye on local weather forecasts and be prepared for the possibility of flooding.

“We also ask that people stay safe, by staying away from swollen rivers and not attempting to drive through floodwater.”

Have you been affected by the high winds or flooding? Call our Newsdesk on (01253) 361865 or email pictures to julia.bennett@blackpoolgazette.co.uk or tweet us on @The_Gazette.