Great Britain

UK weather: Flood-hit communities brace for more heavy rain as Storm Dennis disruption continues

Flood-stricken communities are preparing for more heavy rain, with the Met Office issuing fresh weather warnings until the weekend. 

The disruptive impact of Storm Dennis continues to be felt after hundreds of homes across England and Wales were flooded and at-risk areas evacuated. 

River levels are expected to rise again after the Met Office issued new yellow weather warnings for rain in Wales, the north west of England, and Scotland over the next four days.

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Craig Smell, a forecaster at the Met Office, said further flooding is “likely” in areas in Wales where the ground is already saturated. 

Rain is forecast to build up in the west from mid-morning on Wednesday over the next two days, moving north over the weekend, he said.

Areas in Wales, Cumbria and Yorkshire are likely to be most affected.

“There’s a lot more water in the river systems – in particular we are worried about the Rivers Severn, Teme and Wye,” said Kate Marks of the Environment Agency.

The Rivers Wye and Severn broke records this week, with both expected to remain especially high.

Six severe flood warnings which present a “danger to life” are currently in place for the River Severn at New Street and Waterside, Upton on Severn, the River Wye and the River Lugg at Hampton Bishop, and the River Severn at Ironbridge and Uckinghall.

Five people have died as a result of Storm Dennis, with West Mercia Police estimating that 384 properties had been “significantly impacted by the floods” across Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Shropshire residents in the towns of Ironbridge and Bridgnorth were urged to evacuate their properties, while residents in Bewdley near Kidderminster were warned flood barriers at Beales Corner might not be able to withstand the rising water levels.

Residents in the Welsh town of Monmouth have been asked to limit their usage of water by Welsh Water after a nearby treatment works flooded. 

Deputy Chief Constable Julian Moss said: “Water levels have been unprecedented in many places and the impact of such high-levels of flooding has been substantial across all the agencies, but more significantly to members of the public affected in any way.”

More than six kilometres of temporary flood barriers have been erected across the country and flood defences have protected nearly 25,000 properties from the impacts of the storm, the EA said.

Environment Agency manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Dave Throup said the level of flooding had left affected parts in “uncharted territory”.

Hundreds of residential and commercial properties have been flooded and several hundred people have either moved upstairs or found alternative accommodation.

Mountain rescue teams evacuated an elderly man from his home on a flooded road by breaking down his back door with a sledgehammer and taking him to safety on a raft.

Other neighbours on the A466 ventured to a nearby Lidl supermarket on canoes to pick up their food shopping.

Over the weekend, the River Taff in Pontypridd reached its highest level in more than 40 years and the River Usk reached the highest level since 1979.

The River Trent, which had prompted a severe flood warning for Burton-on-Trent, also peaked at record levels of just below four metres on Tuesday

The government yesterday pledged thousands of pounds for those affected by Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara.

Flood-hit homes can apply for upto £500 hardship relief and 100% council tax relief.

Homeowners are also able to apply for up to £5000 to make their homes resilient to prevent future flooding.

Additional reporting from Press Association

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