UK braces for more flooding alongside warnings of high winds and heavy snowfall

The UK is braced for high winds and heavy snowfall amid continued warnings of major flooding.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for wind in the North East of England, Cumbria, North Yorkshire and parts of Scotland from 6am to 3pm on Wednesday.

A second yellow wind and snow warning covers much of Scotland and Northern Ireland from 1pm Wednesday to 3pm Thursday – with up to 10cm of snow likely even at low levels and the possibility of gusts of 70 mph on the coasts.

Forecasters said frequent heavy snow showers are expected, along with very high 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, particularly those along the Rivers Severn and Ouse, to prepare for major flooding following heavy rainfall of Storm Franklin.

Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin left 1.4 million homes without power, 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 Ironbridge Quay and Wribbenhall, Bewdley, where levels could rise above defences, the agency said .

Water begins to spill behind flood defenses along the River Severn at Bewdley in Worcestershire

As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, there were 67 flood warnings and 72 flood alerts.

About 400 properties were flooded in different parts of the country following the heavy rains.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said 40,000 homes had been protected by flood defenses as he was asked about flooding and the lack of permanent defenses on the River Severn at the conference in National Farmers Union.

He said: ‘The Severn had problems, particularly around Bewdley and Ironbridge, and also problems around Shrewsbury, but in fact the defenses we put in place were very effective, as they were. two years ago, protecting these communities.

“We know that around 40,000 homes have been protected by the flood defenses put in place and on the Severn in particular we have these rather innovative knock down barriers which allow you to use the river normally for most of the year.

“And then, when the risk of flooding arises, we have put up temporary barriers along the river, and these have been remarkably successful in reducing the risk of flooding, particularly along the Severn, and were again this time.”

Although there were some floods, they remained relatively weak, he said.

“It’s obviously a tragedy for those who are flooded, but in the context of the 40,000 homes we’ve protected with the flood defenses we’ve put in place, you always have to keep that in mind,” he said. added Mr. Eustice. .

Katharine Smith, flood manager at EA, said significant riverine flooding is expected in the coming days as she advised people to stay away from swollen rivers.

She said: ‘We still face a significant risk of flooding and we urge people to remain vigilant and exercise extreme caution.

“Heavy rain, affecting already wet areas, is likely to cause significant flooding along the River Severn over the next few days.

“So far, we have received reports of around 400 properties flooding over the past few days. Our hearts go out to everyone affected – flooding can and does have a devastating impact on people’s lives.

“We have teams on the ground taking preventative action, closing flood valves, deploying temporary barriers and moving pumps and other response equipment to areas most at risk. Environment Agency defenses protected over 40,000 properties despite record high river levels.

“We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to cross flood waters, as only 30cm of running water is enough to move your car.”

Meanwhile, AA Home Insurance said it had received more than 600 claims related to Storm Eunice alone, with around 90% of claims for damaged roofs and fences.

The AA auto insurance team also received about 350 claims over the weekend, many of which were single-vehicle collisions.

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