UPDATED: Flooding: Drivers urged to stay away from worst hit estates and two schools closed (From Warrington Guardian)
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UPDATED: Flooding: Drivers urged to stay away from worst hit estates and two schools closed
8:17am Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
A LEADING councillor is warning drivers to stay away from areas affected by flooding.
Parts of Orford, Longford and Dallam have been affected by rising water levels following almost 48 hours of non stop rain.
Clr Mike Hannon (Lab - Orford) has been out and about in his water and says motorists need to take care.
He added: “May I appeal to for motorists to either avoid flooded areas or if they have to drive through estates that are flooded then treat them with respect and drive at less than 5mph.
“Anything higher causes a tidal effect and will add to properties being flooded so please be a thoughtful motorist.”
Among the worst hit areas has been Tomlinson Avenue in Orford and Densham Avenue in Longford.
Council bosses say 3,500 sandbags have been sent out.
Clr Hannon believes investigations now need to take place to find out if the water levels have been unavoidable due to the strength of the rain or if the pumping stations have failed to clear rain water away.
He paid tribute to council teams who have been out trying to pump water away from properties.
Forecasters say the worst of the rain has now passed with a drier spell of weather predicted before the weekend.
Flood warnings remain in place for Sankey Brook in Dallam and Gemini.
Two schools in the town had to close on Wednesday during the wet weather.
Pupils at Meadowside Community Primary School and William Beamont Community High School had the day off after the grounds were flooded.
Paula Wilkinson, Meadowside headteacher, said: “We sent a text to parents in the morning because the only way to access the school was wearing wellies or waders.
“The toilets were also starting to back up but we are working on the problem and hoping to get the school opened again as soon as possible.”
Both schools said they would be keeping parents updated.
Maggie Williams, William Beamont head teacher, said: “The school’s boiler room has been flooded meaning the school cannot supply heating and hot water to pupils or staff.
“The process of pumping out water and assessing the damage now needs to take place and the school must remain closed until that has happened.
“Updates will be posted on the school’s website, the council’s website and distributed via the text messaging service daily with the latest information.”
The school open evening on Thursday has been postponed until a later date and the rearranged date will be published on the school website.
Both schools will also be closed on Thursday and further details about whether the schools will be open on Friday will be on the council and school's websites when a decision has been made.
Meanwhile Newtork Warrington says routes 21 and 21A are being directed away from Hawleys Lane and instead using Longshaw Street, Kerfoot Street and Winwick Road.