Storm Dennis brings ‘life-threatening’ flood warnings to Wales

Storm Dennis shut down roads and flooded railway lines on Sunday morning as it lashed large parts of the country with rain and strong winds.

The situation was said to be “life-threatening” in South Wales, where the Met Office issued a red warning due to heavy rainfall and flooding risk.

“It’s quite an extreme move but we have seen widespread falls across the whole region,” forecaster Greg Dewhurst said.

Severe flood warning were issued for the Scottish Borders and for the River Neath in South Wales, while local media reported the River Taff had burst its banks at Pontypool.

At about 7am on Sunday there were 198 flood warnings, meaning immediate action is required, and 326 flood alerts warning people to be prepared, covering an area from Scotland’s River Tweed to the rivers of west Cornwall.

In the 24 hours to 7am, Tredegar in south-eastern Wales received 105 mm of rain, while the fastest gust recorded in same period was in Aberdaron where 91 mph was recorded at 6pm on Saturday.

The Met Office has issued amber alerts – meaning people must be prepared to change plans and protect themselves and their family from the storm – for parts of Yorkshire, Wales, Devon, East Sussex and Kent.

Rail services were suspended across South Wales after tracks were submerged by rain, while the line between Derby and Long Eaton was also closed.

Flooding saw the M54 westbound closed at Telford, along with the A616 around Stocksbridge in South Yorkshire and the A52 between Stragglethorpe and Gamston in the East Midlands, Highways England said.

Relief from Storm Dennis is still some distance away, the Met Office’s Mr Dewhurst said, adding that “heavy rain and strong winds” would continue across large parts of the UK on Sunday.

“South Wales will see a lot of rain fall before Dennis moves north later to Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Earlier, the Ministry of Defence deployed British Army personnel to assist people in West Yorkshire areas badly hit by flooding during last weekend’s Storm Ciara.

Storm Dennis
(PA Graphics)

Flights have been grounded for safety reasons, with British Airways and easyJet confirming cancellations.

More than 230 easyJet flights in and out of the UK on Saturday were cancelled, while several sporting fixtures were also called off due to the weather.

Two bodies were pulled from rough seas on Saturday, before the worst of the storm hit.

One man was found following a huge search operation off Margate after an early-morning distress call, while another was found at Herne Bay.

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