A COUNCIL-led investigation into the flooding that caused chaos in parts of Wirral during heavy rain last week is underway.

During the downpour in Thursday, in some areas, the intensity and volume of rain was described by the authority as "sufficient to overwhelm the drainage systems serving local highways".

In a statement today, the council said: "Drainage systems are generally able to cope with events of magnitude of one in 30 years.

"The rainfall on Thursday was classed as a 1 in 200-year event (this does not mean it only happens every 200 years – it is just a way of measuring the scale of the rainfall).

"Wirral Council has a responsibility to work with other agencies with flood risk management responsibilities.

"As a result of the flooding a “de-brief” has therefore been arranged with United Utilities to understand whether any operational issues also impacted on the event and what United Utilities’ short-term plans are in terms of response."

The rain caused havoc.

Businesses reported that Borough Road at Charing Cross was under two foot of water at one point, with offices on the roadside flooding out.

Staff at GB Tours say worked hard to protect computers and other IT equipment from serious water damage.

Other areas of Wirral were severely affected.

Wirral Globe:

Photo from inside the offices at GB Tours on Borough Road

Water made its way into the aisles of Prenton Sainsbury's and flooded the playing field in Higher Bebington.

Two lanes of the M53 southbound between junction three and junction four were also closed due to severe flooding on carriageway.

Services on New Brighton and West Kirby line were affected, with some suspended.

Wirral Globe:

Flooding on Higher Bebington field. Photo: Andy Eaton

The council said its Highways, asset management and out-of-hours emergency response services dealt with many calls during the afternoon and into the evening, responding to flooded roads and properties.

There were also operational crews deployed to the most affected areas to clean debris away from surface water drains and clear blocked drains.

Residents were assisted and some roads were temporarily closed to allow the rainwater to drain away. A number of schools were also affected.

The council statement continued: "For Wirral the average September rainfall is 120 mm.

"On Thursday more than half of that amount of rainfall fell in Birkenhead, with 68mm in three hours. In total, during the event, 93mm of rain fell across Wirral.

"This volume and intensity of this most recent rainfall massively exceeds the design standards of our current drainage systems."

A similar meeting will be held with Welsh Water who cover the Heswall and Gayton area.

The full investigation will be undertaken by Wirral Council as Lead Local Flood Authority under Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

The final report will be published on the Council’s website.