Flood warning as torrential rain sweeps UK halting major sports events and festivals

23 July 2023, 15:49

Flood warnings and alerts are in place.
Flood warnings and alerts are in place. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Flood alerts have been issued across northern England as heavy rain continues to sweep across the country.

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A large band of rain is set to sit across the central swathe of the UK, particularly northern England and Wales, for much of the day, the Met office said.

Among the 12 areas to receive alerts for flooding were Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire. There were also isolated alerts in Leicestershire and Middlesbrough.

A flood warning was also issued for the River Wyre near Catterall, north of Preston.

The torrential downpours have already hit major sporting events taking place in north-west England this weekend, including the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford and the Open Championship at Hoylake.

Meanwhile, Bluedot Festival, taking place over the weekend at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, announced it was unable to accommodate Sunday day ticket holders, as arena conditions allowed the programme to go ahead "but only for people already here".

Read more: Summer holiday washout: Torrential downpours set to batter UK as month's worth of rain to fall in 48 hours

Read more: Flights to Rhodes cancelled as terrified Brits flee raging wildfires - with families left without food and water

Marco Petagna, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: "Certainly localised flooding is quite possible. The rain warning we have out now until midnight certainly suggests the potential for standing water on the roads, so journey times could be impacted, and there could be some disruption for local bus and train services."

He added more wet and windy weather was due to arrive from the west in the middle of next week, with the outlook "staying unsettled" and thunderstorms and further flood risk possible.

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said "minor surface water flooding impacts" were possible but that the overall flood risk for England and Wales is "very low" for the next five days.

The UK is on track to have its dullest July on record, with noticeably fewer amounts of sunshine than average over the month.

Flights to Rhodes cancelled as terrified Brits flee raging wildfires

It comes in a sharp contrast to the fierce heatwave continuing to take over Europe.

Terrified Brits have been forced to flee their hotels as a blaze sweeps across the Greek island of Rhodes, with it having fast become the largest fire evacuation in Greek history.

In previous days, the wildfire was confined to the island's mountainous centre, but aided by winds, very high temperatures and dry conditions, it spread on Saturday towards the coast on the island's central-eastern side.