Flood risk continues with further rain expected across England


THE Environment Agency has warned that a significant flood risk will remain for the next few days in parts of England due to the impacts of recent rain and some snow-melt.

Groundwater levels across parts of Dorset and Wiltshire are continuing to rise and will lead to more flooding impacts later in the week.

Significant river flooding impacts are expected to continue through this week particularly along the River Severn, Wye, Ouse and Trent. Some river flooding is also possible in other parts of the north of England such as the lower River Aire.

As of 1:15pm today (Monday February 24) there are two severe flood warnings for Ironbridge and Shrewsbury, meaning there is an immediate risk to life; 97 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected; and 200 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible, in places across the country.

The Environment Agency is urging people to check their flood risk and remain prepared to take action as the situation changes.

England has already received over 141 per cent of its average February rainfall so far with some areas experiencing a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours. River levels have exceeded existing records across the country this winter with a further 100 of the Environment Agency’s river gauges surpassing all time readings this decade.

The Rivers Colne, Ribble, Calder, Aire, Trent, Severn, Wye, Lugg and Derwent are among the many rivers where records have been broken due to continuous wet weather.

Since the start of Storm Dennis, around 1,000 Environment Agency staff per day have been mobilised on the ground to issue flood warnings, operate flood defences and temporary pumps, clear debris from rivers, inspect damaged flood defences and make repairs. Community information officers are also out supporting affected communities offering advice and assistance.

Environment Agency operational teams have put up more than six km of temporary flood barriers across the country and flood defences have protected over 25,000 properties from the ongoing impacts of Storm Dennis.

Caroline Douglass, director of incident management at the Environment Agency, said: “Flooding has a long lasting and devastating impact on people’s lives.

“We offer our heartfelt sympathies to all who have been flooded and continue to be affected by the persistent wet weather.

“River levels remain high and communities along the River Severn – in particular Shrewsbury, Bewdley and Ironbridge should be ready for potential flooding.

We have seen our third weekend of exceptional river levels and stormy weather; with the effects of climate change, we need to prepare for more frequent periods of extreme weather like this. People need to be aware of their flood risk, sign up to flood warnings, make a flood plan and not to drive or walk through flood water.”