Northwich town centre cordoned off in floods

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Media captionSandbags are being used to protect homes and businesses in Northwich

Part of a Cheshire town has been cordoned off after heavy rain led to flooding.

London Road in Northwich has been closed and traffic is slow between Watling Street junction and the Chester Way junction.

Some car parks are flooded and shops in the town are being protected with sandbags amid fears the River Weaver will burst its banks.

Northwich Marina and Butcher and Barlow Solicitors are thought to be at risk.

The water level has been further increased by breaches to the Trent and Mersey Canal at Middlewich, which has led to canal water flowing into the Weaver's tributary, the River Dane.

Gary Williams, who runs an estate agency close to the flooded area, said he was "extremely worried [as] the rate of water flow and the depth of it has increased so quickly".

Image caption The River Weaver has risen to dangerous levels, according to the Environment Agency

He said the business had recently spent a "huge amount of money extending our office and now it looks like it is set to be ruined".

A Northwich resident who called BBC Radio Manchester said the river was "right up over what was the footways along the side of the river, that is totally awash".

"It is coming up towards some apartments on the bank of the canal and the river.

"The car parks behind some of the shops, they are flooded as well."

The Environment Agency's Mark Garrett said it had been "a really challenging 48 hours" and that though the "worst of the weather has now passed, the Weaver is still receiving water from the flood plain, so may continue to creep up".

He added that the agency was "doing what we can with the emergency services to protect as many people and businesses as possible".

Travel delays

Across Greater Manchester and Cheshire, flooding has led to travel disruption on some roads and on train services.

On Monday, flood warnings were put in place for Westleigh Brook in Leigh, Astley Brook in Boothstown, Honksford Brook in Worsley and Hockery Brook at Hindley.

The Alderley Edge Bypass in Alderley Edge has been closed between Harden Park roundabout and the Congleton Road junction.

Image caption The rise in water levels has caused problems in the Wigan and Leigh area

Wallgate in Wigan has also closed, with motorists being warned to expect queueing traffic and long delays at Saddle Gyratory.

Ormskirk Road in Wigan has closed at Saddle Gyratory, as has Mort Lane in Tyldesley.

There are delays of up to 20 minutes on Northern Rail between Wigan Wallgate and Southport due to flooding at Parbold.

The Met Office said rain was likely to ease on Wednesday, with some sunny spells breaking through.

Spokesman Graham Barber, who monitors the Greater Manchester area, said about 2.5in (6.3cm) had fallen across the region.

"It has really rained for two and a half days non-stop. So I just think it has been the sheer persistence of the rain which has caused problems," he said.

"There is light on the horizon. I think most of the rain now across Greater Manchester is fairly light and patchy and it will clear away during the morning."

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