‘Not good news’ for flooded communities as Storm Jorge looms

"It's not good news" for flood-hit communities, forecasters say, as Storm Jorge will bring further heavy rain and strong winds across the UK over the weekend.

Parts of Wales and northern England could see between 50 to 80mm of rain on Friday as the storm hits the UK, the Met Office warned.

Strong winds are forecast for much of England, Wales and Northern Ireland on Saturday, reaching 70mph in coastal areas and up to 60mph inland.

When asked about the weekend's weather prospects, Met Office forecaster Emma Salter said: "It's not good news I'm afraid, given all the recent rainfall we've had."

She described Friday as "another wet and breezy day".

"There will be rain first thing in the South West and Wales, with a fairly dry start for most other places," she added.

"That rain in the far South West will move eastwards and it will be raining pretty much everywhere by lunchtime."

29 PHOTOS
Flood-hit Britain
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Flood-hit Britain
A car in Pixham, Worcestershire is surrounded in flood water after the River Severn has burst its banks. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
A house in Pixham, Worcestershire is surrounded in flood water after the River Severn burst its banks. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
TEWKESBURY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Tewkesbury Abbey, at the confluence of the Rivers Severn and Avon, is surrounded by flood waters on February 27, 2020 in Tewskesbury, England. Flooding levels are decreasing after storms Ciara and Dennis, however forecasters are predicting more rain and 70mph winds this weekend from storm Jorge. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A swan looks over a fence from a flooded gardens in Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire, after the River Severn burst its banks. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Houses in Jackfield near Ironbridge after flood water has started to recede. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)
TEWKESBURY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Tewkesbury Abbey and a children's playground at the confluence of the Rivers Severn and Avon, is surrounded by flood waters on February 27, 2020 in Tewskesbury, England. Flooding levels are decreasing after storms Ciara and Dennis, however forecasters are predicting more rain and 70mph winds this weekend from storm Jorge. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Flooding in Ironbridge, Shropshire, as residents in riverside properties in the area have been told to leave their homes and businesses immediately after temporary flood barriers were overwhelmed by water. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
High volume water pumps installed to deal with the rising water in Bewdley, Worcestershire, sit submerged in flood water, after temporary flood defences were breached overnight as the River Severn remains high, with warnings of further flooding across the UK.
Flood water surrounds Worcester city centre , as residents in riverside properties in the area have been told to leave their homes and businesses immediately after temporary flood barriers were overwhelmed by water. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
WORCESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: A warning sign is surrounded by water as floodwaters persist in the centre of Worcester City after the River Severn burst its banks on February 27, 2020 in Worcester, England. Flooding levels are decreasing after storms Ciara and Dennis, however forecasters are predicting more rain and 70mph winds this weekend from storm Jorge. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WORCESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: A car is surrounded by water as floodwaters persist in the centre of Worcester City after the River Severn burst its banks on February 27, 2020 in Worcester, England. Flooding levels are decreasing after storms Ciara and Dennis, however forecasters are predicting more rain and 70mph winds this weekend from storm Jorge. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WORCESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Floodwaters persist in the centre of Worcester City after the River Severn burst its banks on February 27, 2020 in Worcester, England. Flooding levels are decreasing after storms Ciara and Dennis, however forecasters are predicting more rain and 70mph winds this weekend from storm Jorge. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A flooded road near Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, as the town suffers continued flooding. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Properties back onto floodwater in Tewkesbury, as the town suffers continued flooding. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
Flooding in Ironbridge, Shropshire, as residents in riverside properties in the area have been told to leave their homes and businesses immediately after temporary flood barriers were overwhelmed by water. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Flooding in Ironbridge, Shropshire, as residents in riverside properties in the area have been told to leave their homes and businesses immediately after temporary flood barriers were overwhelmed by water. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Flood water surrounds Worcester city centre , as residents in riverside properties in the area have been told to leave their homes and businesses immediately after temporary flood barriers were overwhelmed by water. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Flooding in Ironbridge, Shropshire, as residents in riverside properties in the area have been told to leave their homes and businesses immediately after temporary flood barriers were overwhelmed by water. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
A car in flooded water Flood defences in Bewdley, Worcestershire, as the River Severn remains high, with warnings of further flooding across the UK.
Flood water surrounds Worcester city centre , as residents in riverside properties in the area have been told to leave their homes and businesses immediately after temporary flood barriers were overwhelmed by water. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Properties back onto floodwater in Tewkesbury, as the town suffers continued flooding. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 27, 2020. See PA story WEATHER Storm. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
A car in flood water in Bewdley, Worcestershire, as the River Severn remains high, with warnings of further flooding across the UK.
Flood defences in Bewdley, Worcestershire, as the River Severn remains high, with warnings of further flooding across the UK.
Flood defences in Bewdley, Worcestershire, as the River Severn remains high, with warnings of further flooding across the UK.
A view of the temporary flood defences in Bewdley, Worcestershire, which were breached overnight, as the River Severn remains high, with warnings of further flooding across the UK.
Temporary flood barriers on the Wharfage in Ironbridge, Shropshire, as the River Severn remains high, with warnings of further flooding across the UK. See PA story WEATHER Storm. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Temporary flood barriers on the Wharfage in Ironbridge, Shropshire, as the River Severn remains high, with warnings of further flooding across the UK. See PA story WEATHER Storm. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire
The sun sets over a flooded field near Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, as the town suffers continued flooding. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
TEWKESBURY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Tewkesbury Abbey, at the confluence of the Rivers Severn and Avon, is surrounded by flood waters on February 27, 2020 in Tewskesbury, England. Flooding levels are decreasing after storms Ciara and Dennis, however forecasters are predicting more rain and 70mph winds this weekend from storm Jorge. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
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The Met Office's chief meteorologist, Paul Gundersen, said further flooding is possible with rain forecast to fall on already saturated ground.

Flooding along parts of the River Severn, which has reached close to its highest levels in some areas, is likely until at least Sunday, the Environment Agency said.

A severe "danger to life" flood warning covering the river at the Wharfage in Ironbridge, Shropshire, remains in place on Thursday, while 82 flood warnings and 125 flood alerts have been issued.

Rising waters pushed back the town's temporary flood barriers towards a pub and other businesses, sparking fears that the defences could be fully breached.

Speaking in Ironbridge on Thursday, Environment Secretary George Eustice said the reason for his delay in visiting the town was to allow for the emergency services to "deal with the immediate impacts".

Asked why Prime Minister Boris Johnson was yet to visit, the Conservative MP said: "When he appointed me two weeks ago he made it clear he wanted me to lead on this.

"I have kept him regularly informed with what is happening."

Residents in the Worcestershire town of Bewdley were forced to evacuate earlier after the river spilled over barriers at Beales Corner.

And in East Yorkshire, residents were being evacuated from the village of East Cowick after the River Aire broke its banks.

This month is already the second wettest February on record, with the total average rainfall from February 1 to 25 measuring 179.3mm, the Met Office said.

The figure to beat is 193.4mm, which was set in February 1990.

Mr Gundersen said: "This weekend we'll see another named Storm bring strong winds to parts of the UK with several wind and rain warnings in place.

"We have issued rain warnings for parts of Wales and northern England, where rain will be heaviest and we could see 60-80mm possible over the highest ground."

The Republic of Ireland is expected to face the strongest and most damaging winds, Mr Gunderson said.

The storm will be followed by snow over the hills and mountains in the north of the UK and rail and hail in the south. Winds are forecast to ease slightly on Sunday.

19 PHOTOS
Snow blankets parts of the UK
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Snow blankets parts of the UK
A woman approaches a crashed car near Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A car drives through wintry conditions near Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man walks his dog in wintry conditions around the Angel of the North, near Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
A woman walks a dog in snowy conditions in Bedale, North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A sculpture is covered in snow in Bedale, North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A truck drives through wintry conditions near Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Wintry conditions surround the Angel of the North, in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man clears snow at Bedale Golf Club, North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A car passes the Angel of the North, near Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Angel of the North, in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
Snow is cleared from the car park at Bedale Golf Club, North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A car that has come off the road in snow in Bedale, North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A crashed car near Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A traffic officer talks to the driver of a crashed car near Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A gritter near Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Angel of the North, near Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, in wintry conditions after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
A traffic officer talks to the driver of a crashed car near Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Traffic drives through wintry conditions at Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A crashed car near Leeming Bar in North Yorkshire after overnight snow hit parts of the UK. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
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Yellow weather warnings for rain are in place for the North West and South West of England, parts of Wales and Northern Ireland between midday on Friday and 9am on Saturday.

The Met Office has also issued a yellow wind warning for a 24-hour period from midday on Saturday covering most of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and south-west Scotland.

On Thursday, Mr Johnson declined to say whether he would visit those made homeless by recent flooding.

Speaking in central London, he instead focused on how the "massive issue" of flooding "presents an opportunity" for job creation.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously accused Mr Johnson of being a "part-time Prime Minister" due to his absence from affected areas.

Mr Johnson said on Thursday: "There's a massive issue about flood defences, and we have put £2.6 billion in and we will be investing another £4 billion.

"This is something that is absolutely critical for our country to tackle."

England has received over 200% of its average February rainfall, according to the Environment Agency, with some areas experiencing a month's worth of rain in 24 hours.

Toby Willison, executive director of operations at the Environment Agency, said: "Our operational teams continue to work night and day to protect communities alongside the River Severn, which is experiencing record levels.

"River levels will remain exceptionally high on the Severn for some time and communities, in particular Shrewsbury, Bewdley, Bridgnorth and Ironbridge, should prepare for potentially ongoing severe flooding."

Storm Jorge is the fifth storm to hit the UK since December 6 last year and third in February,

Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said it was "not uncommon" to see so many storms in such a short period of time.

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