FOOTBALL pitches at Bolton Arena had to be closed when they became flooded during this week’s downpours.

The pitches were shut on Monday as more than a month’s worth of rain fell in Bolton in just two days.

Gwyn Hughes, commercial manager at the Arena, said: “The pitches were closed on Monday but some reopened on Tuesday and the rest will be reopen on Wednesday.

“It drains pretty quickly. We are on a flood plain but we probably lose less than a week a year to flooding.”

Teams of council engineers have been called out to 24 reports of floods over the past 48 hours.

They dealt with 10 incidents overnight on Monday, then another 14 yesterday.

They also unblocked a number of gullies that were filled up or running slowly.

The Blue Lagoon reservoir near Belmont was full to the brim yesterday but had not overflowed and roads nearby were passable.Parts of Westhoughton were also flooded.

Thorn Well, at its junction with Southfield Drive and Clough Avenue, at the junction with Hollin Acre were affected.

Cllr David Wilkinson, of Westhoughton Town Council, said: “The flood water is a hazard to motorists and children."

The fire service had been called out to rescue people in other parts of Greater Manchester but had not been to any incidents in Bolton.

The Environment Agency issued flood alerts for The River Douglas including Horwich Star Vale, Adlington and Blackrod. The Upper River Irwell is also on alert including Farnworth, Little Lever and Radcliffe.

The River Glaze covering Leigh, Tyldesley, Hindley, Westhoughton, Atherton, Worsley and Walkden is also under threat.

David Jordan, director of operations at the Environment Agency, said: “Our teams have been out around the clock over the last few days to minimise the risks and prepare for flooding.”