Flash floods have caused widespread disruption across Wirral, with traffic suffering major delays as torrential rain flooded many of the borough’s roads.
The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning which came into force at 10am today Thursday 9 September. The Met Office forcast thunderstorms would hit Wirral at around 4pm today and carry on throughout the evening.
Train services were disrupted on the Wirral Line according to a statement from Merseyrail and bus replacement services were requested. Services on the New Brighton line are suspended. Services on the West Kirby line will start & terminate at Bidston. Some services were expected to be fully operational after 8pm when the floodwaters had drained away.
Rail services were further affected on the Ellesmere Port and Chester lines, due to flooding at Green Lane. Services to and from Ellesmere Port and Chester terminated and started at Rock Ferry for the duration of the flood.
The M53 was fully reopened by 6:55pm after it was affected by flooding, southbound at Junction 3 (Birkenhead, Heswall, A552) to Junction 4 (Bebington, Bromborough, Clatterbridge, Neston) when it was reduced to one lane. Two lanes had been closed due to flooding in the carriageway. Traffic Officers were at the scene and maintenance crews were in attendance to assist.
Birkenhead MP, Mick Whitley said, “The torrential rain that has hit us today has caused terrible flooding and damage to homes and businesses. I know the emergency services have rushed to assist residents and I’m deeply grateful to them. Please exercise caution, stay safe, and look out for vulnerable neighbours.”
Wallasey MP, Angela Eagle said, “Stay safe everyone & thanks to emergency services for being there as always.”
Bebington councillor, Jason Walsh said, “Long term something needs to change as these weather events are only going to get worse and more frequent and the current system clearly isn’t able to cope.”
There was flooding at Birkenhead Park School, and to “ensure the safety of students, only Years 7 and 11 will attend school tomorrow (Friday 10 September) Years 8, 9 & 10 should remain at home and take part in virtual lessons following their normal timetable via Microsoft Teams.”
Wirral Grammar School for Boys in Bebington, which will also be closed on Friday 10 September, said in a statement, “Please be aware, due to significant flooding and damage to some essential services, we will have to close the school to students on Friday 10 September … Thank you for your understanding.”
Likewise, Wirral Grammar Schol for Girls will be closed due to electrical faults caused by flooding. A message on the school website said, “Due to weather our electrics and parts of the roof have become unusable. All teaching will take place online for Friday only.”
The Co-op Academy, Bebington is shut until further notice due to flooding inside the school building. In a statement, a spokesperson for the school said, “We are devastated that after all the new works completed over the summer and new flooring, we have been totally flooded throughout the school’s ground floor and some upper floor classrooms. School is closed tomorrow and we will update you further once our Facilities Management Team have appraised the damage, which is extensive”.
Despite much speculation on social media, it is understood that flash flooding due to heavy rain is not normally caused by blocked drains. Most flood waters had drained away through the roadway drains by about 9pm and the flooding was simply due to there being so much rainfall that the size of the drains could not cope with the huge amount of water.
For basic advice, you can visit the Wirral Council webpage about flooding –> https://www.wirral.gov.uk/communities-and-neighbourhoods/emergencies/flooding
These photos and videos show some of the flooding around the area.
Main image: Kings Lane, Bebington: Credit: Ristanbul Turkish Bar and Grill