Storm Christoph chaos as houses fall apart and car ‘swallowed’ by huge sinkhole

A car was ‘swallowed’ by a huge sinkhole that ripped off the front of two houses as Storm Christoph continues to cause chaos.

The crater of about four square metres appeared on a residential street in Gorton, Manchester, last night as the road appeared to have buckled.

A Manchester Evening News reporter at the scene said: “A huge sinkhole has opened up on Walmer St and has pulled the front off two terraced houses. Much of the street has been evacuated.”

Photos of the dramatic scene shared on social media earlier in the evening show a snow-covered car being swallowed up by the hole.

The vehicle has since been removed and part of the street has been cordoned off by barriers.

Emergency services remained at the scene late on Wednesday night.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene as police spoke to worried residents.

Surveyors were also at the site, understood to be assessing for any structural damage to surrounding properties.

No further details about the cause of the collapse have yet been confirmed.

The incident happened as areas of Greater Manchester were blanketed in snow, following a day of torrential rain from Storm Christoph.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for ice overnight following a clearance of rain and snow, leading to difficult travel conditions.

Gritters have also been deployed as ice warnings are rolled out.

Greater Manchester has declared a “major incident” as the storm swept through the North West.

Manchester City Council said more than 2,000 properties across the region were due to be evacuated on Wednesday night due to the rising water levels.

A flood alert is currently in place across much of the River Irwell through Manchester city centre.

There are currently three flood warnings for the River Irwell – at Irwell Vale, Strongstry and Chatterton, and Close Park.

Further rainfall is forecast across the region over the next 48 hours, with river levels in the area expected to remain high until Friday.

Officers have began knocking on the doors of residents in the most harshly affected areas to urgently move their belongings upstairs.