FRUSTRATED residents in a flood-hit area say ‘nothing’ has been done to protect them from rising waters.

Twenty-two homeowners in Stoneclough were left counting the cost when Storm Ciara caused the River Irwell to burst its banks this weekend.

For many it was a repeat of the Boxing Day floods of 2015, after which householders called for flood defences to be installed.

But Linda Fairclough, 54, says their pleas have fallen on deaf ears and “nothing has been done” over the past four years to safeguard them and their homes.

Mrs Fairclough, who lives on Riverside Drive, said: “There are lots of people going through the same horrendous circumstances and there is absolutely nothing being done. Flood defences are being built in Radcliffe but we don’t seem to be able to get the funding.”

Several homes were evacuated in Riverside Drive in Stoneclough on Sunday, with one house filled with three feet of water. Others said they watched on fearfully as the water levels rose to near their doorsteps.

Mrs Fairclough, who has lived on the street for 22 years, said the waters came to the edge of their property.

She said: “We were sat in our car praying that the water would not go into our house.”

Bolton Council recorded that 22 properties were flooded in Stoneclough, and 13 people attended the rest centre that was set up at Stoneclough Community Centre.

Campaigner Karen Smith, who chairs the resident flood committee said: “People have just had enough. We need the flood defences and the funding signing off to protect our neighbourhood. Having a wall built is the only way that people will be able to move forward. Without it, this flooding is just going to happen again and again.”

Police have been stationed in the Riverside Drive area to protect homes from theft following the flooding.

Lee Rawlinson, Environment Agency (EA) area director for Greater Manchester, said: “We have been working closely with the community group in Stoneclough since 2015 to examine how the community can be protected against flooding. We are exploring funding and will continue to engage with the community about progress.”

The River Irwell rose from just under half a metre to 3.5m in under six hours on Sunday.

Bolton Council officers have been at the scene since flood warnings were first issued.

A council spokesman said: “A refuge centre was set up and all residents were given support and advice to find alternative accommodation.

“Council staff and vehicles were in action on Monday cleaning silt and debris from the public highway and specialist officers will assess the welfare needs of any residents in need of immediate support.

“A scheme to minimise flood risk at this location is currently being developed by the EA. Residents are urged to contact their insurer as soon as possible about repairs and clean-up work on private property.”

In October 2018, the EA told the Bury Times that investigations to determine whether a flood defence scheme “could be viable” in Stoneclough were expected to take another year.

A total of 116 properties were flooded in Bolton when the River Irwell burst its banks on Boxing Day 2015, of which 57 were in the Prestolee and Stoneclough areas.

In comparison, more than 670 homes were flooded in Radcliffe and Redvales, where the construction of a £40million flood defence scheme is under way.

Meanwhile, homeowners have been warned to plan for a new storm set to sweep across the country this weekend.

Forecasters have predicted that Storm Dennis could bring high winds and flooding to much of the North West. The new weather front will arrive on Saturday and the Met Office has sent out wind warnings.