Wind and snow warnings issued as flooding risks remain
Written by First Choice Radio on 23 February 2022
Strong winds and heavy snow are expected to hit the UK as Britons face continued warnings about significant flooding.
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for wind across north-east England, Cumbria, North Yorkshire and parts of Scotland from 6am to 3pm on Wednesday.
A second yellow warning for wind and snow covers much of Scotland and Northern Ireland from 1pm on Wednesday until 3pm on Thursday – with up to 10cm of snow likely at even low levels and the possibility of 70mph gusts on coasts.
Forecasters said frequent heavy snow showers are expected, along with very gusty winds and a small chance of frequent lightning affecting some places.
Meanwhile, the Environment Agency (EA) is urging communities in parts of the West Midlands and Yorkshire, especially those along the Rivers Severn and Ouse, to be prepared for significant flooding following high rainfall from Storm Franklin.
Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin left 1.4 million households without electricity, some for up to 72 hours, while dozens of properties near the River Severn were evacuated.
Two severe flood warnings, meaning there is a danger to life, have been issued for the River Severn at the Wharfage in Ironbridge and in Wribbenhall, Bewdley, where levels could overtop the defences, the agency said.
As of 5.30am on Wednesday morning, there were 67 flood warnings and 72 flood alerts.
Around 400 properties have flooded across different parts of the country as a result of the heavy rain.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said 40,000 homes had been protected by flood defences, as he was quizzed on flooding and the lack of permanent defences on the River Severn at the National Farmers’ Union conference.
He said: “The Severn has had some issues particularly around Bewdley and Ironbridge and also some issues as well around Shrewsbury, but actually the defences that we have put in place have been very successful, as they were two years ago, protecting those communities.
“We know there are around 40,000 homes that have been protected by the flood defences put in place and on the Severn in particular we have these rather innovative demountable barriers that enable you to use the river normally most of the year.
“And then when the flood risk arises, we put up temporary barriers alongside the river, and those have been remarkably successful at reducing the flood risk particularly along the Severn, and have been again this time.”
While there had been some flooding it remained relatively low, he said.
“It obviously is a tragedy for those who do get flooded, but in the context of the 40,000 homes that we’ve protected through the flood defences we’ve got in place, you always have to keep that in mind,” Mr Eustice added.
Katharine Smith, flood duty manager at the EA, said significant river flooding is expected in the coming days as she advised people to stay away from swollen rivers.
She said: “We are still facing a significant flooding risk, and we are urging people to remain vigilant and take extreme care.
“Heavy rain, affecting already wet areas, is likely to cause significant river flooding along the River Severn over the next few days.
“So far we have received reports of around 400 properties having flooded over the past few days. Our thoughts go out to all those affected – flooding can and does have a devastating impact on people’s lives.
“We have teams out on the ground taking preventative action, closing flood gates, deploying temporary barriers and moving pumps and other response equipment to areas of highest risk. Environment Agency defences have protected more than 40,000 properties despite record river levels.
“We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub