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The River Roch, Rochdale and Littleborough Flood Risk Management Scheme (FRMS) is a partnership project between the Environment Agency (EA), Rochdale Borough Council (RBC) and Transport for Great Manchester (TFGM). It seeks to address the high level of flood risk to the towns of Rochdale and Littleborough in Greater Manchester.
The towns have a long history of flooding with significant events recorded in 1991, 1995, 2008 and 2015. On the 26th and 27th December 2015, 324 properties were flooded during Storm Eva. The flood exceeded the previous highest recorded levels along the River Roch, causing widespread damage and disruption in the area. More recently there was flooding in the towns in March 2019, July 2019, November 2019 and 9th February 2020 (Storm Ciara).
The steep catchment and multiple tributaries cause the River Roch to respond rapidly to rainfall with river levels rising quickly. The urbanised river valley has an industrial heritage with a legacy of modified channels, bridges, culverts and weirs which further exacerbate the flooding problem.