Environment Agency urges people to stay vigilant as flash flooding hits Lancashire
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A yellow weather warning, which is currently in place for the whole of the North West, has now been extended until 9pm on Sunday, with the heaviest rainfall expected across the hills of Lancashire and Cumbria.
In Ribchester and Billington in Lancashire, the Environment Agency has installed temporary flood barriers as a result of the heavy rainfall.
These barriers are being installed as a precautionary measure to "provide reassurance to the community and protect people and properties from any potential high river levels."
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "Successive bouts of heavy and persistent rainfall could bring surface water and river flooding to communities across parts of northern England from today and into early next week. River flooding is possible from Friday onwards, with continuous rainfall possibly leading to an escalation of the flood risk in the coming days. There is also a chance of localised flooding from tomorrow and into early next week.
"Environment Agency field teams are out erecting temporary barriers to protect communities where necessary, inspecting trash screens and clearing debris. We are ready to respond where needed, as well as offering practical assistance and advice to local authorities leading on responses to surface water flooding incidents. We are monitoring rainfall and river levels closely and are preparing to operate some of our flood defences, including storage basins, to help reduce the risk of flooding.
"As always, we advise people to be prepared for flooding and know their risk."
A flood alert is currently in place for Lower River Ribble and Darwen, with flooding expected to affect low lying land and roads in Darwen, Blackburn, Higher Walton, Walton-le-Dale, Samlesbury, Preston, Fulwood, Cadley, Lea and Penwortham.
People have been advised to stay away from swollen rivers and police are urging motorists to "slow down and take care while driving" due to the "awful" conditions.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "We are receiving numerous reports of flooding on the Fylde Coast today. Please only make essential journeys where possible and don't take the risk of driving through a puddle when you are unsure of the depth."
Heavy flooding has also reportedly affected rail services, with all lines blocked between Preston and Ormskirk, Blackburn and Clitheroe.
Rail delays have also been reported between Leyland and Adlington.
Visit www.gov.uk/flood or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 for advice on how to prepare.
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