Flood warnings as Britain is battered by high winds and heavy rain

 

High winds and driving rain have continued to batter Britain with the south suffering the worst of the April washout today.

Thousands of homes in south Wales, Wiltshire, Somerset and Oxfordshire have been left without electricity.

Wales and Southwest England took the brunt of the much of the bad weather, experiencing gusts of wind of up to 71mph in some areas.

Today, strong winds and heavy downpours continued to wreak havoc across Britain after the wettest week since December.

In the South West 2,000 homes were left without power and around 10,000 homes in South Wales and the Midlands suffered a similar fate, Western Power said.

Electricity outages were caused by falling trees bringing lines down and leaning on lines, or by debris hitting power lines a spokeswoman said.

Western Power said they were working with anywhere from four to ten times their normal fault investigation rate.

Reports of around fifty trees being felled by the weather were received by Cardiff council and the city set up an emergency response centre to deal with the problem.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service also said they were busy throughout the night.

There were also treacherous driving conditions with debris and surface water blown onto the carriageway of the A38.

The Severn Bridge on the M48 was closed in both directions to high-sided vehicles throughout this morning.

In the South East Essex police said a section of the A12 was closed near Chelmsford, after two crashes this morning – thought to be due to the flooding.

Matt Dobson, senior forecaster with MeteoGroup, said the south had seen the worst weather, with a gust of 71mph recorded at the Mumbles on the Gower coastline in south Wales.

Warnings of localized flooding for today and tomorrow were issued by the Environment Agency across parts of southern and eastern England, the Midlands and Wales.

There were a total of 17 flood warnings in place on the Environment agency website.

A spokeswoman said, "It's not unusual to experience heavy downpours and some flooding - mainly of farmland - at this time of year, but we're continuing to closely monitor the forecast and rainfall particularly in areas along the Rivers Severn, Teme and Avon, including Worcestershire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire

"Environment Agency teams are out on the ground continuing a close watch on river levels as well as checking defences and clearing any potential blockages to reduce the risk of flooding."

The heavy downpours come as many of the southern areas of Britain are in a state of drought.

Though experts have said the current rain is welcome, it is unlikely to help alleviate the drought conditions in the longer term.

The Environment Agency said that despite all regions receiving higher than average rainfall, groundwater levels remain low.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Recruitment Genius: Factory Operatives

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This high quality thread manufacturer ba...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003