UK weather: No respite from storms set to continue into next week

More than 500 flood warnings and alerts issued

Forecasters have warned that there is more extreme weather to come next week as Storm Ruth batters Britain with gales, torrential rain, huge waves and yet more flooding.

Gusts of up to 80mph across southern England and Wales are causing power cuts, travel disruption and damage to property, combined with a deluge of up to 40mm of rain in places.

The West Country is now completely cut off by rail following a landslip on the line at Crewkerne in Somerset and flooding at nearby Bridgwater and Athelney.

The latest blow comes days after a stretch of the rail line connecting Cornwall to the rest of the country fell into the sea at Dawlish in Devon, when an 80 metre stretch of the sea wall was destroyed by high tides and stormy seas.

The winds have whipped up waves of up to 35 feet in Cornwall and along other exposed coastal areas, prompting warnings from the RNLI that onlookers could be “swept off their feet”. Forecasters from surf website magicseaweed.com have dubbed the storm an "absolute monster".

Severe weather warnings are in place, urging people to make provision for further flooding and power outages.

The Environment Agency has issued more than 500 flood warnings and alerts across the country, two of which pose “a danger to life”.

The misery caused by the wettest January on record shows no sign of abating, with forecasters warning of a “conveyor belt of storms” on their way to the UK.

 

Paul Gundersen, Met Office chief meteorologist, said: “We have another Atlantic storm bringing gales and heavy downpours to many parts of the UK this weekend.

"Monday is expected to bring a brief respite from the stormy conditions before more strong winds and rain set in from the west on Tuesday.

"This will bring the continuing risk of flooding and damaging winds bringing down trees to cause disruption to travel and power networks."

Amid growing discontent, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has ordered an audit of flood defences following Friday’s meeting of Cobra.

It was the second time the government’s emergency committee has met to address the flood crisis.

Mr Pickles said: "We continue to make sure every preparation is made before the severe weather expected this weekend and the following days.

"I want to pay tribute to all the people who have rallied to support those communities affected.

"I want to reassure the country that everything possible is being done to help those communities affected by these terrible storms, and work to be prepared for any further bad weather we may see in the days ahead."

Changes to the Bellwin scheme, which reimburses local authorities following disasters, should mean an extra £15million is available to cover the costs of defending properties in affected areas.

Gatwick Airport has waived fees for additional Flybe flights between Newquay and London to alleviate pressure on the transport system in the south west. .

The Ministry of Defence has put 1,500 personnel on standby to help in the south if needed.

The fresh storm comes as Royal Marines have been drafted in to help evacuate areas of the Somerset Levels after heavy rain overwhelmed local defences.

Since before Christmas, around 5,000 properties have been affected by flooding across the country and thousands more have had power cuts.

Additional reporting by PA

Read more:

Hold on to your cats: RSPCA warns that pets could be blown away in wild weather
Fury rises with the flood waters causing havoc
Out of his depth? The man who refused to be moved
Residents rage at peer while Somerset drowns
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Life and Style
A general view during the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Earl's Court exhibition centre on 2 December, 2014 in London, England
fashionIt's not all about the catwalks: the big changes of the past year can be summed up in six clothing items
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

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?