Hosepipe ban still in place despite downpour

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The Independent Online

A hosepipe ban was still in place in the North West today, despite torrential rain across the region over the last few days.

Flood warnings from the Environment Agency remain in Cumbria and Wales, but the water supplier for the region said the recent downpours were not enough to fully replenish the reservoirs.

Helen Wilson from United Utilities said: "Nothing has changed regarding the hosepipe ban. The rain is welcome in terms of the water levels in the reservoirs and things are recovering, which is great news.

"We're not out of the woods yet and we need quite a lot more rain.

"We did have quite a lot of rain over the weekend as well and even though we had heavy rain yesterday, things haven't changed that much since then."

Two flood warnings remain in place in the North West, at the River Yarrow at Croston in Lancashire and Keswick Campsite in the Lake District.

There was also a flood warning in Wales at Dyfi Bridge on the A487, Pennal and parts of Machynlleth.

A further 35 areas were on flood watch this morning, the vast majority in the North West and Wales.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "When you get flash flooding like we have seen overnight, it doesn't necessarily mean that all the reservoirs are full again."

Merseyside experienced particularly heavy rainfall yesterday and a number of major roads were closed, causing traffic chaos during the evening rush hour.

Speed restrictions were introduced on the M53, M57 and M58 and police urged motorists to take extra care on the roads.

Schools across Liverpool were forced to send children home early and homes were flooded.

After a relatively dry night, many of the roads were open again and the city was recovering.

Paul Knightley from Meteogroup, the weather arm of the Press Association, said: "For the North West today we're looking like we could see a few more showers, but they are not going to be that heavy.

"Overnight we have got some showering rain coming across the region.

"There is still heavy rain for Scotland today, and across Northern Ireland we're going to see more rain developing throughout the day.

"At this time of year the rain tends to be much more localised so it is much more difficult to pin down."

He said the rain is likely to move down to England and Wales tomorrow, particularly across the country from Liverpool to East Yorkshire.

Despite the downpours in the North, he said people in the South East were enjoying clear skies and warm weather.

The hosepipe ban in the North West was introduced on July 9 after the ground had completely dried out due to the driest seven months on record. Those who ignore the ban could face a £1,000 fine and court action.

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