Sector - Defence

Severe weather warnings issued for flood-hit areas

Communities hit by recent flooding are warned to be prepared for more flooding and travel disruptions.

Residents in Wales, Scotland, Lancashire, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the South East are being urged to check their flood risk in preparation for flooding, and to be cautious if travelling after severe weather warnings have been issued, with the expectations of heavy winds and torrential rain.

Southwestern Scotland is likely to face winds of up to 70mph. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued nine flood alerts and nearly 40 flood warnings.

Forecasters are predicting around 30 to 50mm of rain in most parts and up to 80 to 100mm in exposed upland areas.

After recent floods, rivers in Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire are already affected by record river levels, after rainfall made December the wettest on record. The potential for heavy rainfall may cause river levels to rise and flooding drains.

There is possibility for some flooding along the rivers Severn and Wye. Heavy rain may also cause some impacts on south England on Wednesday.

Environmental Agency teams have been helping communities recover from the floods, which caused severe damage, leading to power cuts evacuated homes and damaged roads and bridges last month.

A Met Office spokeswoman said: “We’ve got these warnings out for great swathes of the west coast of the UK, that’s for Tuesday into Wednesday, for potential heavy rain accompanied by strong winds as well.

“And because we’ve had so much rain falling on already saturated ground, some of the areas experiencing that will be the ones who have experienced flooding already.”

Clare Dinnis, National Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “We will issue flood warnings and alerts where necessary as rivers respond to the rainfall. This could also cause drains to overflow, so people need to be ready for flash flooding in some places. Environment Agency teams are already out checking flood defences, clearing trash screens and blockages in watercourses and culverts.

“Disruption to travel and some flooding of low-lying land and individual properties is possible. We urge people to take care near coastal paths and promenades, and not to drive through flood water. People should check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation.”