Monday, 28 January 2013

Weather: Flooding Fears As More Rain Forecast - Sky News

Fresh flood warnings have been issued as further heavy rain and windy weather bring a new risk of danger and disruption to Britain.

The South West of England and southeast Wales are likely to be the worst hit by the new downpours, forecasters said, with strong winds meaning coastal defences could be overrun.

The UK has already been battered by winds of up to 60mph and the gusts could be whipped up again on Tuesday.

Mobile flood barriers are being erected in Bewdley in Worcestershire and Shrewsbury in Shropshire in preparation for large rivers, including the Severn and the Wye, rising to flood levels during the week.

The Environment Agency said: "Devon, Somerset and southeast Wales are most likely to be affected, and strong winds could lead to some disruption along the coast as waves and spray come over the top of defences."

The increased risk comes from fresh rain falling on ground saturated by recent downpours and the thaw from last week's snow.

Flooding Lincolnshire.
Flooded roads in Lincolnshire at the weekend (Pic: Kevin Leach)

A kayaker died and more than 40 properties across England and Wales flooded over the weekend.

Matthew Baird-Parker, 36, was pulled out of the River Arkle near Reeth in the Yorkshire Dales on Sunday but died after being airlifted to hospital. He was on the river with two friends when his kayak became trapped in debris.

Steve Clough, from the mountain rescue team, said the water was swollen with snow melt and extremely cold.

Elsewhere a woman was forced to abandon her car after it became stranded in flood water on the A34 at Meaford in Staffordshire.

In Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales a motorist had to be rescued from floodwater by fire crews who pushed him to safety.

The Environment Agency has dozens of flood warnings and well over 150 less serious flood alerts in place.

It warned that this number would increase as more rain came in.

Despite the thaw, some places are still seeing low temperatures and icy road conditions.

In Sussex, there were more than 40 crashes between midnight and 7.45am today, mostly in rural areas, Sussex Police said.

More than 30 involved single vehicles sliding off the road because of black ice. No serious injuries were reported.

Sky News weather presenter Isobel Lang said: "Flooding will continue to be a concern during Monday and Tuesday as further active frontal systems are set to sweep east bringing gales and heavy rain.

"Western and southwestern parts are most at risk with around one to two inches of rainfall, perhaps more on higher ground.

"The outlook is for it to remain generally mild, windy and unsettled."

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