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Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Clear-up starts after flash flood
Flooding near Irlam Baths, courtesy of Phil Johnson
Greater Manchester Fire Service received 630 calls in four hours
A huge clear-up operation is under way across Greater Manchester after heavy rain caused widespread flash flooding during a thunderstorm on Sunday.

A Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service spokesman said it had received more than 630 calls in four hours.

Wright Robinson High School in Abbey Hey, Gorton was closed on Monday and Tuesday after it was hit by lightning.

And the England football team's plane was diverted to Liverpool after it was unable to land in Manchester.

A textile factory on Swallow Street in Levenshulme was also struck by lightning.

This kind of downpour is rare fortunately
Geoff Harris, Fire Service
In Irlam, firefighters rescued a 90-year-old man and six people from two cars trapped in water 4ft deep.

More than 20 houses in Heywood, which was flooded two years ago, were hit again - some had only just been restored.

And the BBC Big Screen in Exchange Square was also put out of action by the storm.

In Rossendale, the A56 outside Haslingden was partially blocked by flooding.

Geoff Harris, spokesman for Greater Manchester County Fire Service, said: "With the rain being torrential, the drainage system doesn't cope with it.

"It can deal with normal day-to-day requirements but this kind of downpour is rare fortunately."

Most calls to the fire service were from people reporting car and burglar alarms, which were going off after being triggered by the thunder and lightning.

There were no reports of any injuries.

Heatwave and floods hit England
03 Jul 06 |  England


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