Flooding forecast for festive get-away

Published on Friday, 21 December 2012 12:45
Posted by Scott Buckler

People in Southern and south western England, south Wales, the Midlands and the north east of England are being urged to remain prepared for flooding over the weekend

There are currently 68 flood warnings and 244 flood alerts in force across England and Wales. Whilst the Met Office is forecasting a respite in the heavy rainfall today, many rivers such as the Severn, Trent, Yorkshire Ouse and Derwent continue to rise in response to yesterday's rainfall.

Further heavy rain is forecast from the early hours of Saturday morning into Sunday, with successive bands of rain expected be bring a risk of flooding to large areas across the country.

Devon and Cornwall are at greatest risk, with significant disruption likely as a result of fast responding rivers in these areas. Significant disruption is also forecast for other areas of south west England and North Yorkshire as a result of river and surface water flooding.

Significant disruption to road travel is expected and people living in areas at risk of flooding are being urged to use today's respite in the weather to prepare for further flooding over the weekend.

Flood water can be dangerous.  Just two feet of water is enough to float a car and six inches of fast flowing water can knock you off your feet. Flood water also contains hidden dangers such as open manhole covers and raw sewage.

People can keep up-to-date with the latest information, and sign up for free flood warnings, on the Environment Agency's website (www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood) or by calling Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

David Jordan, Director of Operations at the Environment Agency, said:

"More heavy rain is on its way. This rain will be falling on already saturated ground, leading to a significant risk of further flooding over the weekend and into next week. We're urging people to use the respite in the weather today to prepare for possible flooding over the weekend.

"If you're going away for the holidays, give yourself extra time to make your journey, check your route before travelling and avoid driving through flood water.  If you're leaving your property empty over Christmas, check the risk of flooding before you leave, move valuable items to safety and ask neighbours to keep an eye on your home.

"You can keep up-to-date with the latest situation by checking the Environment Agency website and Twitter feeds and staying tuned to local media broadcasts."

Environment Agency teams continue to work around the clock to reduce the risk of flooding across the country. Flood defences have protected over 10,000 properties from flooding in the last 48 hours.

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