THOUSANDS of residents in flood-threatened towns have been urged to flee their homes, as the UK faces six more days of downpours and the worst flooding in 728 years.
The River Wye and River Trent have burst their banks in the wake of Storm Dennis and six danger to life warnings are in place before a month’s rain is set to fall .
Aerial view of Tewkesbury Abbey this morning where there’s only one road open, to get in and out of the town Credit: SWNS: South West News Service
The Met Office has warned of six days of “severe” rain still to come, as sodden Brits have been left with flooded homes and devast ation from storms Dennis and Ciara.
Forecasters warned four inches of rain will fall in 96 hours on already saturated ground, raising fears of more flooding.
The Environment Agency warned: “We are in uncharted territory.”
Rescuers pulled OAPs from care homes and ferried stranded residents to safety on inflatable boats in Wales and northern England yesterday.
The River Severn surged through Ironbridge, Shrops, at a rate of tons of water per second.
Locals erected flood barriers in an attempt to protect historic buildings and properties from the water.
Around 192 locals took refuge in a cocktail bar after fleeing their homes.
At Hereford, the Wye reached 96 ft, the highest since records began 644 years ago.
And Caban Coch Dam in mid-Wales resembled a waterfall as a torrent cascaded over the top.
Yesterday an expert has warned the country is facing a “national emergency” after failing to prepare.
Environmental scientist Angela Terry told the Mirror : “Sending the army to fill sandbags is a sticking plaster.
“As temperatures rise, the atmosphere can hold more water so downpours are more intense – 7 per cent more for every degree celsius temperature increase – so flooding will increase.
“We are currently in a national emergency.”
The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings from today until Saturday morning, with already drenched parts of Wales and northern England bracing for (mm of rain in) hours.
Wet weather is due to continue for the next four days, as Brits struggle to cope with the onslaught of two storms in two weekends.
It comes after
five people died in the flooding and rough seas as Storm Dennis rampaged through the country .
Yvonne Booth, 192, was swept into floodwater near a bridge which crosses the River Teme, near Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, on Sunday as the number of flood warnings hit an all-time record.
As the Environment Agency issues more than
flood alerts and warnings in the wake of the weekend’s storm, it’s chief has warned the devastation is “not yet over”.
Sir James Bevan said: “Something has changed. The climate emergency is driving more violent weather, higher seas and heavier rainfall. We need an approach.”
Communities across the country are counting the cost of the weekend’s storm, which has left hundreds of properties flooded.
People have been driven out of their devastated homes, as a care home in Whitchurch was yesterday “overcome by flooding” and the town of Ironbridge was evacuated.
York has 4, 20 sandbags placed around the city to try and combat the rising river, with residents being told the country is “not out of the woods yet”.
Terrifying footage showed cars submerged over the weekend while landslides hit areas around South Wales.
One stranded family was rescued by climbing through a window of their home into the bucket of a farmer’s tractor.
And in Cardiff, staff at a care company watched as the contents of their flooded office was loaded into a tipper lorry and taken to the dump.
The River Wye reached its highest levels on record on Monday, peaking at more than six meters, with the EA describing levels as “exceptional”.
And today the River Trent peaked today at just below four meters – breaking another record.
Severe flood warnings have been issued for the River Severn at Upton upon Severn and Uckinghall, the River Wye at Hereford and Hampton Bishop, the River Trent at Burton upon Trent and the River Lugg at Hampton Bishop.
As temperatures rise, the atmosphere can hold more water so downpours are more intense – 7 per cent more for every degree celsius temperature increase – so flooding will increase. We are currently in a national emergency.
In Wales, there are two severe warnings in place on the River Wye at Monmouth – where homes have been evacuated and people have been urged to limit water use due to the flooding.
Today Brits can expect another windy day with some sunshine and heavy showers.
Hilly spots might see some snowy showers with hail and thunder, as the temperature feels chilly.
Boris Johnson has faced calls to chair a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee Cobra to tackle the flooding crisis.
Superintendent Sue Thomas, the Local Policing Commander for Herefordshire and head of the emergency flooding response team, said: “We still very much in an emergency phase.
“Whilst the rivers going through Hereford city have gone down significantly, we are still concerned about the River Lugg and River Wye towards Symonds Yat so there’s still a lot to do.”
Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said of today’s weather: “There’s more persistent rain coming on Wednesday.
“There will be wet and windy weather across the UK on Wednesday and Thursday, with the heavy rain coming back.”
Flood resilience expert warns people to protect mental health over homes
As hundreds of homes are evacuated amid severe flood warnings, a flood resilience expert from Kingston University is warning people facing imminent floods to protect their mental health as well as their property.
Dr Tim Harries, senior research fellow at Kingston Business School, said: “It’s extremely stressful to stay in your home and watch the water come rushing in, so you should do what you can to protect your home and move possessions out of reach of the water – but then get out.
“You should prioritize the most precious items – those with emotional value that cannot be replaced, such as photo albums or a child’s favorite teddy bear.”
Paul Mason, group manager of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said the scene his team had faced over the weekend was the worst he had experienced in his – year career.
He said: “This weather is unprecedented We haven’t seen this, it’s incredible, and it’s right throughout the South Wales Valleys.
“In my 200 years in the service this is the worst I’ve ever seen. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. “
And as Brits try to recover from the flooding danger, there are already fears that another storm – Storm Ellen – is brewing.
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