Emergency services are urging residents to stay safe as Storm Doris hits town - with the peak of storm set to hit between 10am and 2pm.
The Met office issued an Amber warning over the weather front, which could see gusts of 70 - 80mph hitting the town.
The strong winds and heavy rain have already started, and Cheshire Police is warning motorists to be prepared if they venture out today.
Inspector Richard Rees, from Cheshire Police, said: “We are working closely with our partner agencies to monitor the situation and will seek to minimise disruption across the county.
“However, with winds expected to reach 70mph, road closures are a possibility and I would advise all motorists to allow extra time for their journey and take extra care while travelling. Any road closures will be publicised through the Cheshire Police Facebook and the @CheshirePolice Twitter accounts.”
The wind will cause a particular risk to high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes, but all drivers will be affected by surface water and heavy rain.
It generally takes at least twice as long to stop on a wet road as on a dry road because tyres have less grip on the surface.
In wet weather you should:
- Slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles is making it difficult to see and be seen;
- Keep well back from the vehicle in front as this will increase your ability to see and plan ahead; and
- Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually if the steering becomes unresponsive as it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road.
Electricy North West, the power network operator, has also taken precautions and drafted in extra engineers to cover and emergencies caused by Storm Doris.
Mark Williamson, operations director at Electricity North West, said: “We work hard throughout the year maintaining and upgrading the network, but unfortunately overhead power lines can be damaged by flying debris in high winds.
“We invest around £130m every year and actively manage and cut back around 400,000 trees near our lines every year, which does reduce the risk of outages, but we are still prepared and we are here 24 hours day seven days a week if you need any advice or information.”
Electricity North West’s partners, the British Red Cross are also on standby to offer extra support to customers. Customers, including some older or disabled people, or those with a medical dependency on electricity, can also sign up to the Priority Services Register by visiting www.enwl.co.uk/priority or contacting Electricity North West on the new national number 105 or 0800 195 4141.
Top ten tips for dealing with power cuts
- If there is a power cut first check your trip switches to see if it is an internal power cut.
- If you can’t find a reason for your electricity to be off ring the new national 105 number and signup to receive updates to your mobile.
- Keep a battery-operated torch handy.
- If you need extra support please ensure you register as a priority customer at www.enwl.co.uk/priority
- If you use a stair lift check with the supplier to see if it can work without electricity.
- If you run a business and cannot afford to be without power it may be worthwhile investing in a generator.
- Leave at least one light switched on so you will know when your power is restored.
- Leave your fridge and freezer doors closed–chilled products should remain safe for a number of hours.
For advice on how to be prepared and stay safe please visit http://www.enwl.co.uk/power-cuts/dealing-with-power-cuts
To report a power cut please call the new national number 105 or follow @ElectricityNW or visit www.electricitynorthwest.co.uk.