Flood warnings in place as Britain braces for more weather chaos


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Flood warnings are in place across large swathes of England, Wales and Scotland as the country braces itself for more heavy rain and strong winds.

Currently 76 flood warnings and 173 flood alerts have been issued by the Environment Agency, mostly in the South West and Midlands, where many residents awoke today to find roads closed, homes flooded and travel severely disrupted.

Up to 50mm of rain is predicted to fall today, with winds of up to 70mph.

In Somerset RNLI flood rescue specialists have been put on standby and there are concerns that low lying areas in Bridgewater could flood this lunchtime when the high tide comes in.

A dam has been built on the Great Western Canal near Tiverton in Devon, after a large section of it burst its banks yesterday.

There have been severe delays on trainlines across the South West with no trains between Exeter and Taunton and Plymouth to Bristol due to landslips.

Ferry services across the channel were also affected by gusts reaching gale force 6.

This morning emergency services were called to a flood-hit home in Bishop Sutton, North Somerset, to help a pregnant woman in labour get to hospital.

Dozens of schools in Devon and Somerset have been closed today, along with businesses affected by the floods.

Drivers have also been badly affected. Yesterday the AA attended 8,000 breakdowns, an almost 40% increase than normal, and 500 floodwater related call outs by early afternoon.

Firefighters were also called to rescue drivers from their vehicles in the Lower Stour region of Dorset.