North-west and Wales worst hit by floods as temperatures rise

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Many parts of Britain were hit by flooding for a second day yesterday, with Cumbria, Wales and north-west England the most severely affected.

At one stage,126 flood warnings were in place, with the heaviest rain falling in Capel Curig in Gwynedd, north Wales. The spot was deluged by 167mm (6.5ins) of rainfall in 24 hours on Tuesday, about four times the average for London in February.

Three motorists had to be rescued in the nearby village of Llanwrst, after they were trapped in a car transporter in severe floods.

June and Cliff Churchward, local residents, were hit by a deluge of the sewage-laden water, which, at its height, was 10ins deep in the living room of the home they bought 18 months ago.

Mrs Churchward, 51, said: "It was all very scary. At first I thought I could stop it but it just kept coming through the front door." The flooding also caused chaos in the Swansea Valley, leaving four people trapped on the upper floors of housing in the Pontardawe area, said the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Pontardawe was developed around three waterways, the river Tawe, the Swansea canal and the Upper Clydach river, which makes the area prone to flooding.

The rain pushed north and eastwards throughout the day, hitting northern England, north Wales and the borders of Scotland about lunchtime, and continued into the evening. The river Eden in Carlisle, Cumbria, burst its banks, as did the river Ure in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire.

Last night, 61 flood warnings for England and Wales remained in place. A total of 33 warnings were issued for England, mainly in the Midlands and the North-east, and 28 for Wales. About 76 less severe flood-watch warnings were also in place.

The Environment Agency's flood warnings for England are primarily focused around the rivers Derwent, Ure, Ouse, Severn, Trent, Soar, and Wye. For Wales, they are primarily around the Dee, Severn, Usk, Wye, Vyrnwy and Towy.

Motorists were advised to take care, as a combination of high winds and wet conditions were set to make driving difficult in some places.

But some parts of Britain enjoyed record-breaking temperatures for the time of year. Church Fenton, North Yorkshire, registered a temperature of 16.3C (61.2F), beating the previous record of 16.1C for 3 February. Lossiemouth in Scotland also broke the record, as did Hawarden in north Wales, both registering a high of 16.2C.

The Environment Agency predicted that the worst of the weather would have passed by about 10pm last night, with a general improvement in conditions from the early hours of today.

But potential problems could still lie ahead, with slow-running rivers, such as the Wye and the Dee, which take a couple of days for much of the flood water to reach them.