Although our area is only on yellow alert for wind and rain this weekend, rather than amber, people still need to careful. Meanwhile, we think of ther parts of the country who have already taken a battering and are due more of the same.
Heavy, persistent rain on Saturday and Sunday is likely to bring significant river and surface water flooding to parts of England over the weekend. Current forecasts indicate a heightened risk of flooding across much of southern, central and northern England this weekend, with impacts continuing in some slower responding rivers into Monday and Tuesday.
It has been an exceptionally wet winter so far. England as a whole had its fifth wettest autumn on record.
The Environment Agency is operating flood defences and flood storage reservoirs and is ready to issue flood warnings and advice to those at risk ahead of the incoming weather. The Foss and Hull Barriers are already in operation, helping to protect thousands of properties.
As of 12.30 pm on 14 February, there were 12 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected, and 97 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible, in place across the country.
Caroline Douglass, Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said:
We have teams out across England today continuing to prepare for the severe weather that we are expecting over the weekend. The above average rainfall that we have seen since the autumn means that we’ll be seeing rain falling on already wet ground, leading to an increased risk of flooding.
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.
Paul Gundersen, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office said:
Storm Dennis will bring a disruptive spell of weather over the weekend, and there are warnings in place for strong winds and heavy rain. In parts of Devon, South Wales, northern England and a swathe of southern England – stretching from Andover eastwards – rainfall is expected to be particularly heavy and persistent, and these areas are covered by amber warnings because of the risk of flooding and other disruption.
We advise people to Sign up for our free flood warnings and 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.
Ahead of the arrival of Storm Dennis this weekend, RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous said:
“After so much wind and rain last weekend, drivers will again have to contend with some pretty dreadful conditions on the road with the arrival of Storm Dennis. With transport disruption likely, drivers should expect their journeys to take longer than usual and should stay up-to-date with the latest traffic and travel information as the conditions could change quickly.
“There is also a strong risk of flooding given all the recent rain so it’s essential motorists never attempt to drive through deep floodwater – those that do are not just risking damage to their vehicles but risking their lives and those of their passengers.”