‘Month’s worth of rain’ expected in parts of UK over the next 24 hours

Storm Dennis may have gone but further agony is in store for beleaguered communities across flood-hit Britain – with forecasters predicting a month's worth of rain in the next 24 hours in some places.

Those already battling with the aftermath of several days worth of rain have been told to expect even more, with pockets of North Wales, northern England and Scotland among those in line for further deluges.

The Environment Agency (EA) warned there is a "heightened flood risk" across the Midlands, while there are six severe flood warnings – meaning a danger to life – in place around the Rivers Lugg, Severn and Wye. The lower Avon also remains especially high.

WEATHER Storm
WEATHER Storm

As of Wednesday afternoon, flood warnings remain for 120 places, with a further 150 lower category alerts also present.

Trunk roads have been forced to close and hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in the worst-affected areas.

But forecasters have predicted further heavy rainfall is on its way, three days after Storm Dennis left the UK for Scandinavia.

Craig Snell, from the Met Office, said: "Hot on the heels of Storm Dennis, we have now got this next weather system coming through.

"We have a cluster of warnings around the UK running today into tomorrow.

"Rainfall totals are not too high at the moment. But if we are looking at the situation in 24 hours' time, we could be looking at 50-60mm in South Wales, 70-100mm in North Wales, and up to 100mm in north west England.

"In the worst case scenario we could see a month's worth of rain.

"It is more the fact that quite a lot of the UK has seen a wet winter. Ordinarily, 50mm of rain would give us a wet day, rivers would be able to cope.

"But the ground is saturated (due to the persistent, heavy rainfall) so it is causing problems."

The EA said England had already received 141% of its average February rainfall so far this month.

River levels in the Colne, Ribble, Calder, Aire, Trent, Severn, Wye, Lugg, and Derwent all set new records in recent days, the EA said.

The EA said its teams put up more than 6km of temporary flood barriers across the country and that flood defences have protected nearly 25,000 properties from the ongoing impacts of Storm Dennis.

John Curtin, EA executive director, said: "We expect further disruptive weather today, bringing a significant flood risk to the West Midlands.

Winter weather Feb 19th 2020
Winter weather Feb 19th 2020

"Flood warnings also remain in place across much of England following rainfall which has led to record river level in many places.

"Whilst extremely upsetting, if you are asked to evacuate it is important to do so as quickly and as safely as possible."

Residents in the Shropshire towns of Ironbridge and Bridgnorth were among those urged to evacuate their properties, while residents in Bewdley near Kidderminster were warned flood barriers at Beales Corner might not be able to withstand the rising water levels.

Elsewhere, sections of the A38 near Stafford and the A19 near Selby were among those closed amid safety concerns following the storm.