Lancashire

Storm Dennis: Bid to protect Billington flood-risk homes

flood barriers
Image caption The Environment Agency hopes the barrier will protect properties

Villagers who suffered severe flooding during Storm Ciara are hoping a temporary barrier will save them from a second deluge during Storm Dennis.

About 40 homes on Longworth Road in Billington were flooded when the River Calder burst its banks on Sunday.

Some residents, who were also hit by the 2015 Boxing Day floods, said they could no longer afford insurance.

The Environment Agency (EA) admitted it did not have time to put up extra defences ahead of the previous storm.

Storm Dennis "is likely to bring very heavy rain, flooding and disruption" to several areas of the UK over the weekend, the Met Office said.

Image caption Staff have moved quickly ahead of Storm Dennis, which is scheduled to hit the UK over the weekend

Keith Ashcroft, the EA's area director for Cumbria and Lancashire, said: "We knew there was a storm, which we were expecting to be incredibly windy, but not that wet.

"Because the rain came though so strongly and the river rose so quickly, we physically wouldn't have had time to put the barriers up."

Billington resident Denise Dilworth said: "Here we are four years later and I'm in exactly the same position again.

"It's stressful, it puts a strain on your relationship, your family, everybody."

Image caption About 40 homes on Longworth Road were flooded during Storm Ciara

Yellow warnings for wind and rain are in place across the north west from Saturday into Sunday but the predictions are not as severe as last weekend.

An amber warning for rain covers Billington and the wider Ribble Valley and East Lancashire areas.

Lancashire County Councillor Keith Iddon said this was "particularly concerning as the ground is already saturated, and I know people who were affected by flooding last weekend will be very worried".

Power cuts and travel disruption have also been predicted.

Train operators including Northern and TransPennine Express are advising customers to check before travelling.

Image copyright Met Office
Image caption Weather warnings for Saturday (left) and Sunday

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