Storm Dennis – continued vigilance advised as flood risk continues
The Environment Agency is urging people to check the latest safety advice as flooding impacts continue with further heavy rain expected to fall on areas already affected by the wet weather later this week.
Today (Tuesday 18 February) there is a heightened flood risk mainly in parts of the Midlands. River levels will remain especially high on the Rivers Wye and Severn, continuing on the lower River Avon until Saturday. Further heavy rain is forecast in the north of England for Wednesday into Thursday and may fall on catchments that have been recently flooded.
The Environment Agency is urging people to check their flood risk and remain prepared to take action as the situation develops. As of 1.30pm on Tuesday 18 February there were six Severe Flood Warnings in place. Four severe flood warnings are in place along the River Severn at New Street, the Wharfage, Uckinghall and Waterside. Two severe flood warnings are in place along the River Wye at Hampton Bishop and along the River Lugg at Hampton Bishop. Severe flood warnings mean a potential danger to life and immediate action is required. Residents should follow the advice of the emergency services.
150 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected, and 192 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible, are in place across the country.
Over 900 Environment Agency staff are on the ground operating flood defences and temporary pumps, clearing debris from rivers, inspecting flood defences and supporting affected communities. Environment Agency operational teams have put up more than 6km of temporary flood barriers across the country and our flood defences have protected nearly 25,000 properties from the impacts of Storm Dennis.
River levels have exceeded existing records across the country following Storm Dennis and ongoing, persistent wet weather. There is now a heightened concern at the River Severn after river levels reached their highest on record in Upton on Severn. Our incident teams are working closely with emergency services to keep people safe.
John Curtin, Executive Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management at the Environment Agency, said:
Every home flooded is a tragedy for that family and our hearts go out to all those who have been flooded and continue to feel the impacts of Storm Dennis.
Our teams will continue to work 24/7, alongside the police, fire and rescue, and local authorities, to reduce the risk of flooding and keep communities safe. So far we have protected nearly 25,000 properties from the impacts of Storm Dennis.
We expect further disruptive weather into tomorrow and Thursday, bringing a significant flood risk to the West Midlands, and there are flood warnings in place across much of England. Now is the time to check your own flood risk.
We continue to work across England today, putting up additional temporary barriers and operating 90 pumps across the country. We are also operating large flood defences, including the Upton flood alleviation scheme and are ready to operate other large flood defences as required.
Groundwater levels remain high and in some places are rising again in parts of Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, North Lincolnshire, East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.
With the effects of climate change, we are seeing more frequent periods of extreme weather. It is important for people to be aware of their flood risk and stay safe by signing up for flood warnings, making a flood plan and remembering not to drive or walk through flood water – it’s not worth the risk.
It has been an exceptionally wet winter so far with autumn rainfall records being broken for South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. England as a whole had its fifth wettest autumn on record. The flood risk will remain high and the public need to remain vigilant by signing up for our free flood warnings and checking what to do in a flood.
Keep up to date with the latest safety advice, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates.