THE "heroic" actions of a construction firm helped to save 100 homes and businesses from being flooded, it has emerged.

More than 23 homes were affected by flooding in Radcliffe and Redvales when Storm Ciara hit earlier this month.

But an estimated 100 properties and businesses were protected thanks to the efforts of staff at BAM Nuttall, who have been contracted by the Environment Agency (EA) to work in Close Park, Radcliffe, on the first phase of a £40 million flood defence scheme.

The "quick-thinking" team worked to plug gaps in the defences and infill holes at the end of Morris Street by using three excavators to shift 400 tonnes of material. They created a 2.5m high temporary flood barrier which held back approximately 1.5m of water from the River Irwell.

The EA has also urged residents and businesses across Radcliffe and Redvales who were affected by the flooding to attend a drop-in event this week.

Colette Jones, chair of the Radcliffe and Redvales Flood Action Group, said: "The member of staff from BAM was a hero. He put his life in danger. Thankfully homes in Morris Street were protected but that was only down to BAM arriving at the site and building a mound of earth.

"A resident in Parkside Close was flooded for the third time. She is going to be displaced from her home for four months. The waters rose to 69mm in 12 hours.

"This time we got all of our cars moved in time. What was frustrating was people driving to the area to sightsee. People were driving around Close Park as the waters were rising.

"Flooding is a national issue and there needs to be a joint approach. This is everyone's responsibility."

Radcliffe Borough Juniors Football Club are currently unable to use their clubhouse in Close Park after it was flooded.

A total of £150,000 of £2 million contributed towards the cost of the defences by Bury Council, has been set aside to "mitigate issues" for the club.

Their pitches were left underwater and their changing rooms and toilets have been left with "three inches of mud inside", according to the club's Facebook page.

The EA said they were able to protect more than 12,000 properties and businesses, and warn about 13,500 people across Greater Manchester, in advance of Storm Ciara's arrival.

In the days after the flooding, Community Information Officers from the EA visited affected areas to help residents with the recovery process.

At the drop-in event on Thursday, residents will be able to speak with representatives from the EA, Bury Council and United Utilities, and hear the latest updates on the flood defence scheme. Phase one of the scheme, focused on Close Park and Morris Street, is expected to be completed by this summer. Two planning applications have been approved for work under phase two, which comprises piled walls along the River Irwell from Hardy's Gate Bridge to the Metrolink bridge at Warth. Construction is expected to start in May 2020, continuing until March 2021. A third application for an embankment at Lower Hinds is now out for public consultation.

Visitors will be able to find out about the EA's flood warning service and how they can write their own flood plan.

Advice and guidance about how to protect homes and businesses against future flooding incidents will also be made available at the session.

Andy Cameron, Senior Flood and Coastal Risk Management Advisor with the EA, said: "This drop-in session will provide a good opportunity to speak to different agencies, ask questions, raise concerns and find out about the support available to residents who have suffered from flooding. The key to recovering quickly and increasing our flood resilience is to listen to the people who experienced it first hand and learn from their experiences.

"Resilience is the key word when it comes to flooding and we would like to take the opportunity to highlight to residents of Radcliffe and Redvales and the surrounding area how important it is to be well prepared. We want people to be resilient and aware so they are ready to respond and able to protect themselves, their properties and businesses, as much as they possibly can, so that should flooding occur, they can recover more quickly.

"The aim of the drop-in event is to provide a one-stop-shop for the community to directly access the information and support they need to understand their flood risk. I would encourage everyone in the Radcliffe and Redvales communities area to attend."

The drop-in on Thursday is due to be held between 4pm-7.30pm at Radcliffe Road Baptist Church.