Weather forecast: 'Danger to life' flood warnings as Storm Alex batters UK

3 October 2020, 13:36 | Updated: 3 October 2020, 13:41

Storm Alex is lashing the UK
Storm Alex is lashing the UK. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

Multiple flood alerts are in force as the remnants of Storm Alex batter the UK with torrential downpours and gale-force winds. 

Persistent downpours are expected to deluge flood-prone towns and cities and spark transport chaos on roads and railways. 

The Met Office has set amber weather warnings for rain in Wales, the West Midlands, south-west England and also parts of eastern Scotland on Saturday, the most since March as wintry weather draws in. 

More than 20 flood alerts are in place, with many places set to see 25-50mm of rainfall this weekend, and the potential for more than 120mm on some of the most exposed high ground of Snowdonia and Exmoor.

The places worst hit so far include parts of Exmoor, with 84mm of rain recorded in 36 hours in Liscombe and 74.4mm recorded in Brendon Hill.Fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely, “causing danger to life”, the Met Office said.

Coastguard teams picked up the pieces after Storm Alex moved in
Coastguard teams picked up the pieces after Storm Alex moved in. Picture: PA
The storm has damaged buildings in Swanage, Dorset
The storm has damaged buildings in Swanage, Dorset. Picture: PA

Meteorologist John Griffiths said: “There’s still a lot of wet weather to get through today and into tonight, so we haven’t really seen the worst of it yet.”He said there has been 45-60mm of rain widely across southern England.

It comes after Storm Alex moved in from France and clipped the southern edge of Britain on Friday, bringing heavy rain and strong winds, with 71mph recorded at Berry Head on the Devon coast.

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Central Tayside and Fife plus the Grampian regions of Scotland are set to be hit by 40-70mm of rain with over 120mm possible over high ground on Saturday, Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said.

Yellow rain warnings are also in place for the east of England, London and the South East plus much of Wales, western England and eastern Scotland where heavy rain is set to push in from the North West.

Mr Dewhurst said “it is going to be raining and horrible all day” on Saturday, adding: “If you have to travel, take extra time on your journey, the roads will be pretty treacherous at times with poor visibility due to the heavy rain.”

The storm is causing heavy winds and rain
The storm is causing heavy winds and rain. Picture: PA
The weather was drizzly in London too
The weather was drizzly in London too. Picture: PA

Drains could become blocked with debris as trees are now in full leaf and there is a heightened risk of flooding and very difficult driving conditions.

Carol Holt, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, added that “widespread and persistent rain is likely to lead to flooding” in some areas over the weekend.

She added: “We urge people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive though flood water – it is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.”

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said that road conditions will be “miserable if not downright dangerous” for drivers this weekend.

He said they will need to be prepared for “an ugly mix” of surface spray, gusty winds and more than likely some disruption on the roads.