RESIDENTS are being evacuated from houseboats at Hayhurst Marina following Storm Christoph’s heavy downpours.

Cheshire Police says 33 residents are being evacuated by the Cheshire Local Resilience Forum and are being offered accommodation at nearby hotels.

A major incident has now been declared in Cheshire following the arrival of Storm Christoph, while there are red flood warnings in place for Northwich Marina, Weaverham and Acton Bridge.

There is also surface water on many roads across town, including London Road, which has been closed by police at the junction with Chesterway.

Supt Simon Parsonage, from Cheshire Police, said: “We are continuing to work closely with our partners to monitor the situation and collectively we will do all we can to minimise any disruption across the county and keep people safe.

“There are currently restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic but I want to stress that the safety of the public remains our priority and I urge anyone who is asked to evacuate to follow the guidance given so that we can ensure this is managed in a Covid safe way.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely as it develops over the next 48 hours and I would urge anyone affected by flooding to keep up-to-date with the latest news on the Environment Agency website.”

Residents are also reminded not to walk or drive through any flood water – this is often deeper than it looks, it may be moving fast and there could be hidden hazards underneath such as raised manhole covers, which can pose a danger.

Anyone can sign up for free flood warnings from the Environment Agency’s website or by calling 0345 988 1188.