Manchester gets a ‘beach’ after flood dumps tons of sand and silt at the back of the five-star Lowry Hotel
By Thomas Burrows for MailOnline 20:13 GMT 27 Dec 2015, updated 01:20 GMT 28 Dec 2015
- Lowry Hotel, in Greater Manchester, sits on the banks of the River Irwell
- It burst its banks yesterday which left the plaza near the hotel underwater
- As the rainwater subsided, it was replaced by what looked like a beach
- Further down the promenade, Mark Addy pub was wrecked by flooding
A deluge of rainfall over the weekend in northern England has created a beach in Greater Manchester.
Following Saturday’s biblical downpour, the River Irwell burst its banks which left the plaza near the city’s Lowry Hotel underwater.
As the rain water gradually subsided, it was replaced by what looked like a sandy beach in the seating area at the back of the five-star celebrity hangout.
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Debris was left strewn on the white benches overlooking the river in pictures that resembled the seaside.
The luxury hotel in Salford, which sits on the banks of the Irwell, has attracted the likes of Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, Liam Gallagher and Pharrell Williams in the past.
Despite the slushy mess left near the hotel, the Manchester United squad still checked in tonight ahead of their all-important clash against struggling Chelsea at Old Trafford tomorrow evening.
The hotel itself was not affected by the flooding as it is built higher than the river level.
However, further down the promenade, the Mark Addy pub – named after the champion oarsman who saved more than 50 people from drowning in the Irwell in the 19th century – faces closure after it was wrecked by the floods.
The entire building was devastated by the rainwater, causing around £200,000 worth of damage, and the pub is not covered by insurance.
Allen Caldwell, who has owned the pub for two years, said: ‘We had been planning to be open for business on Boxing Day this year, but at 9.40am that day my girlfriend was alerted that the water was near the back door. By 11am it was knee deep in the pub.
‘By 9pm it was higher than the bar. There is likely to be structural damage too. The canopy outside has been badly damaged.
‘The sound system which cost £50,000 has been completely lost. Overall I would estimate the cost of the damage is £150,000 to £200,000.
‘We had just fitted a new kitchen and were due to start serving food next month. The water reached everywhere – the main bar, the cellar, office, and kitchen.
‘We don’t have insurance for flooding – no one would cover us because of the location.’
Mr Caldwell, who acquired the pub with two friends, told the Manchester Evening News: ‘We put in £75,000 initially and then all the money we have made has gone back into the pub – none of us have drawn a penny in two years since it re-opened.
‘I would love to think that the pub could open again but realistically I don’t think it will happen. It would take an awful lot of investment.
‘At the moment the entire pub is under a foot of sludge.’
It comes as the government sent 500 troops to help the rescue efforts in flood-stricken parts of northern England.
Rivers in Manchester, York and Leeds have burst their banks, leaving properties under water and causing misery for hundreds over the festive period.
Residents have been evacuated from scores of homes in York, where large swathes of the historic city are underwater after the Foss and Ouse rivers overflowed.
In York, pumps at the Foss Barrier – where the River Foss joins the River Ouse – had been overwhelmed and flood barriers were lifted by the Environment Agency, meaning parts of the city that would usually be protected were left vulnerable.
Around 3,500 properties are thought to be at risk in the city, and rescue centres have been set up to help those affected.
Dozens of severe flood warnings remain in place in Yorkshire and the North East, and engineers are working to restore power to more than 7,500 homes in Greater Manchester and Lancashire that have been left without power.
The flooding has been caused by sustained heavy rain across northern England, causing every river in Lancashire to reach a higher level than they have ever been.
Some 24 flood warnings are in place in the North East – warning of a risk to life – while there are a further 115 flood warnings and 102 flood alerts across Wales and much of western England.
The Government has vowed to review flood defences, with David Cameron telling the BBC that with the prevalence of such extreme weather events on the rise, investment in flood defences would continue.
He said: ‘Whenever these things happen, you should look at what you’ve spent, look at what you’ve built, look at what you’re planning to spend, look at what you’re planning to build, and ask whether it’s in the right places, whether it’s enough, whether we’re doing everything we can to try and help.’
‘The flood barriers have made a difference – both the permanent ones and the temporary ones – but it’s clear in some cases they’ve been over-topped, they’ve been overrun, and so of course we should look again at whether there’s more we should do.’