Dozens of flood warnings in place after heavy rain hits

Dozens of flood warnings were in place on Wednesday night after heavy rain fell across England and Wales, affecting traffic.

Heavy rain lashed much of England and Wales, with a yellow weather warning from the Met Office starting at 6am.

The warning covered large parts of England and Wales, stretching from East Anglia, across Leicester, parts of Birmingham and north London, and through to mid-Wales and Cornwall, and remained in place until 2am on Thursday.

The Environment Agency (EA) had issued more than 50 flood warnings for England as of 9pm on Wednesday, including 14 warnings related to the River Severn on the Welsh border.

Other areas covered by flood warnings, which call for immediate action due to expected flooding, included part of the Great River Ouse and the Chediston watercourse in Suffolk.

Winter weather Dec 23rd 2020
The A40 dual carriageway at Highnam in Gloucester was almost impassable on Wednesday night after heavy rain across England and Wales (Gloucestershire Police/PA)

Three further flood warnings were issued by Natural Resources Wales.

The Environment Agency also issued a further 146 flood alerts, which warn of possible flooding and urge preparedness.

According to a Natural Resources Wales gauge, 60.4 mm of rain fell within 13 hours at the Trevethin reservoir in southern Wales on Wednesday.

44.6 mm of rain was also detected in Corby, Northamptonshire, in the same period according to Environment Agency figures.

The heavy rain caused disruption to travel, with many areas including Cardiff reporting surface water on the roads.

On Wednesday night, Gloucestershire Police warned drivers of road closures and poor road conditions in the county, including in Cheltenham, due to the weather.

Police in Rutland also warned drivers of impassable conditions with one officer tweeting a video that he himself had become stuck due to the adverse weather.

The weather is causing flooding throughout Rutland. Laurie and I are stuck ourselves. We ask that unless your travel is essential please don't drive . Reports that Lyddington is flooded. #StaySafe#Rutland#Ryhall#a47#Morcott#MantonBridgepic.twitter.com/1imw8y9gOA

— Rutland Police (@LP_Rutland) December 23, 2020

National Rail also warned passengers of the adverse conditions affecting train lines, with Transport for Wales advising customers not to travel on routes in the south of the country.

Alex Burkill, a meteorologist for the Met Office told the PA news agency: “There’s been a lot of wet weather around, we’ve had a heavy rain across much of England and Wales, particularly southern parts of Wales but also further east.

“Most places in England and Wales have been really wet and we’ve seen strengthening winds too, there have been some gales in exposed parts, so quite unpleasant really.”

Winter weather Dec 23rd 2020
A flood warning sign at the entrance to a flooded car park beside Tewkesbury Abbey, where flood watches were in place (Ben Birchall/PA)

Mr Burkill later said the rainfall would cease overnight into Christmas Eve.

He said: “The wet weather we’ve got over us at the moment that’s all going to clear away towards the south-east as we go through the night so for Christmas Eve we’re going to have lots of fine weather around, with lots of sunshine and a cold northerly flow.”

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