Lancashire County Council is gearing up to keep the county moving and respond to any impacts as a result of Storm Dennis this weekend.
The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for heavy rain for an area which includes parts of East Lancashire and the Ribble Valley from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. A yellow weather warning has been issued for wind and rain from Saturday morning through to Sunday night for the whole county.
Very heavy rain is forecast for the area covered by the amber alert, which warns of the likelihood of disruption to travel, some homes and businesses being flooded, and danger caused by fast flowing or deep floodwaters.
It will be another very busy period for highway teams who worked around the clock to deal with the impacts of Storm Ciara last weekend, with many staff also involved in overnight gritting patrols throughout this week due to wintry showers affecting the county.
The county council’s highway teams are on standby again to deal with any problems, whether there’s a need to remove downed trees
or minimise the impact of floods by diverting traffic and removing storm debris from drains. External contractors are also available to be called upon to add to the council’s manpower should they be needed.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Our highways teams have been very busy this week carrying out repairs and assessing the damage caused by Storm Ciara, and there are a number of issues which we will be monitoring very closely as we deal with any impacts from Storm Dennis.
“We’re paying close attention to the forecasts and weather warnings as Storm Dennis approaches, and are as ready as we can be to deal with any incidents affecting the roads. Where possible we will redirect our resources from around the county to focus on the areas which are worst affected.
“While strong winds are expected to affect the whole county, the impact of those is not expected to be as bad as during Storm Ciara. However the amber warning for rain for the east of the county is particularly concerning as the ground is already saturated, and I know people who were affected by flooding last weekend will be very worried.
“We are as prepared as we can be for whatever the weather brings, and ready to work alongside the emergency services, district councils, other authorities, and our communities again to mitigate any impacts as a result of Storm Dennis.
“Our priority will be to try to keep the main roads safe and open as far as possible for emergency access, and provided that need is met our resources will be used wherever else they can be to help affected communities.
“I would remind everyone to check the advice issued by the Met Office, consider whether their plans may be affected, and above all stay safe. You can also find advice on our website about what to do before, during, and after a flood.”
People should report any problems on the roads caused by the storm which do not require an emergency response to local police by calling 101, so they can pass any issues onto highway teams as necessary. For more information about what to do before, during or after a flood, go to http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/winter.