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UK weather: Flood warnings issued as deluge of rain forecast across swathes of country

Conrad Duncan
Flood water surrounds a church in Tirley, Gloucestershire, as more rain in northern England could lead to further flooding: PA

Heavy rain is set to bring more flooding to the UK over the coming days, the Environment Agency (EA) has warned.

The agency said on Friday that England had already seen 141 per cent of its average February rainfall so far after a fortnight of almost continuous wet weather, with more on the way.

The EA has warned spells of heavy rain this weekend could bring further flooding to parts of the north and midlands.

A spokesperson said that “ongoing flooding remains probable for the River Severn on Monday and Tuesday”.

As of 4pm on Friday, there were 67 flood warnings and two danger to life warnings in place across England.

The warnings were issued as large areas of south Wales and the midlands continued to battle extensive flooding and as massive clear-up operations began where water levels had fallen.

“Flooding has a long-lasting and devastating impact on people’s lives, and our thoughts remain with all those who have been flooded and continue to feel the impacts of the persistent wet weather,” Caroline Douglass, the director of incident management at the EA, said.

“Further spells of rain in northern England from today (Friday) and into the weekend, which are also expected into next week, could cause further flooding, particularly across the Pennines and parts of northern England, York and the midlands.”

Ms Douglass added: “This will be the third weekend of exceptional river levels and stormy weather.

“With the effects of climate change, we need to prepare for more frequent periods of extreme weather like this.”

There was also one flood warning in place in Wales and 17 in Scotland, as of 4pm on Friday.

However, the agency has noted that the number of homes flooded in recent weeks has been fewer than in other major flood events of the last 20 years.

John Curtin, the executive director of flood and coastal risk management at the EA, said on Twitter that Storm Ciara, two weeks ago, left 800 properties flooded and Storm Dennis has affected 600.

He said this compared with 1,200 homes flooded in the north of England at the end of 2019; 17,000 in the 2015 Boxing Day floods and 55,000 in the floods across the north and midlands in 2007.

An EA spokesperson said its teams had put up more than 6km of temporary flood barriers and that flood defences had protected nearly 25,000 properties from the ongoing impacts of Storm Dennis, which hit a week ago.

The agency added that 1,000 EA staff have been mobilised in the last week, operating flood defences and temporary pumps, clearing debris from rivers, inspecting damaged flood defences and making repairs.

Additional reporting by PA

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