Weather in flood-hit communities 'to get worse before it gets better' after Storm Dennis

20 February 2020, 09:32

Places such as Monmouth, Wales, were hard hit by Storm Dennis
Places such as Monmouth, Wales, were hard hit by Storm Dennis. Picture: PA

The weather in flood-hit communities is set to get worse before it gets better in the aftermath of Storm Dennis, according to experts.

The Environment Agency (EA) warned that further heavy rain is predicted in some of the hardest-hit areas, including near the Welsh border.

106 flood warnings are in place for England on Thursday morning, including six severe warnings indicating lives were in danger in communities near Wales.

Persistent rain has seen the Met Office raise yellow weather warnings across parts of southern Scotland and Strathclyde, northwestern England and Wales as recovery efforts continue following Storm Dennis.

Rain fell heavily across northern and western parts of Britain overnight, Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson said, adding it was likely to continue until about 3pm.

The village of Capel Curig in north Wales received 54 mm of rain in 24 hours, compared to an average of 97 mm of rain for the whole of February.

But Mr Wilson said some relief reprieve was on the way later in the day, adding: "The rain will clear through the west in the afternoon then through the southeast later.”

He said people can look forward to "sunshine and showers" later in the day.

More weather warnings are likely on Friday with heavy rain expected across western Scotland, Yorkshire and parts of Cumbria.

Gusty winds are also expected to strengthen at the end of the working week.

The EA reported England has already received 141 per cent of its average February rainfall so far this month courtesy of Dennis, adding that river levels in the Colne, Ribble, Calder, Aire, Trent, Severn, Wye, Lugg, and Derwent all set new records in recent days.

Boris Johnson has been criticised for his response to the wide-spread flooding, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accusing him of not caring unless there's an election on.

Flooded fields in Hereford
Flooded fields in Hereford. Picture: PA

Mr Corbyn said the Prime Minister was showing his "true colours" by not convening the Government's emergency committee Cobra, he added it sends a “very clear message” that the PM “simply does not care about helping communities affected by flooding” if he is not campaigning in a General Election.

The Tories hit back at Corbyn's comments, accusing him of attempting to "politicise the floods."

Later today, Mr Corbyn will visit residents and volunteers in communities affected by Storm Dennis in South Wales.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: "Jeremy Corbyn shouldn't be trying to politicise the floods, he should be backing the Government's move to support and work with emergency personnel who are working tirelessly to help everyone affected.

"We are investing £2.6 billion in flood defences, which have already protected 200,000 properties that would otherwise have been caught out by flooding.

"We know there is more to do - which is why our manifesto committed us to an additional £4 billion for flood defences and today we've set out new measures to help the communities directly affected."