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Storm Dennis: Man dies in sea off Kent as Met Office issues new ‘high impact’ weather warning

Forecasters warn of flooding, damage and disruption for second weekend in a row

Kate Ng,Peter Stubley
Saturday 15 February 2020 22:15 GMT
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UK braces for more severe weather as Storm Dennis arrives

Storm Dennis was forecast to cause widespread disruption across the UK as the country battened down its hatches for the second stormy weekend in a row.

Multiple severe weather warnings for heavy rain and strong winds were issued by the Met Office as deep floodwater threatened “danger to life”.

Flights were grounded for safety reasons, with British Airways and easyJet confirming cancellations. Passengers were advised to check their airline’s website for latest updates.

Please wait a moment for the live blog to load.

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Hello and welcome to the Independent's live blog on Storm Dennis.

Tom Barnes15 February 2020 09:05
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Flights will be grounded on Saturday for safety reasons as winds are forecast to reach 70mph along coastlines, while some parts of the country could get up to 4.7 inches of rain.

EasyJet has cancelled over 230 flights in and out of the UK on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for easyJet said: "Due to forecasted adverse weather conditions caused by Storm Dennis, easyJet, like other airlines, is currently seeing disruption to its flight programme for Saturday February 15th.

"We are doing everything possible to minimise the impact of the disruption for our customers and to arrange alternative travel. Customers on cancelled flights have been given the option of transferring their flight free of charge or receiving a refund. We will also provide hotel rooms and meals for customers who require them.

British Airways has also confirmed cancellations, and a spokesman for the airline said: "The majority of our flights are planned to operate as planned, but, like all airines flying to and from the UK today, we are experiencing some disruption due to the stormy weather conditions.

"We are merging a small number of Heathrow short-haul flights to the same destination and using larger aircraft where possible to minimise disruption."

Tom Barnes15 February 2020 09:11
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Severe weather warnings have been issued as the UK is set to be battered by strong winds and rain for the second consecutive weekend.

Our Friday report:

Tom Barnes15 February 2020 09:17
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The Met Office tweeted a video which shows how Storm Dennis will continue to develop throughout Saturday.

Tom Barnes15 February 2020 09:22
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Military personnel and troops will be deployed to assist in preparations for Storm Dennis in the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire, said Calderdale Council.

They will join workers and volunteers in supporting flood recovery efforts in the area, which was severely affected by flooding during Storm Ciara last weekend.

Council leader Tim Swift said: "The presence of Army officers in Calderdale will be a reassuring sight for the many residents and businesses who are still recovering from Storm Ciara and preparing for Storm Dennis.

"Council staff, partners, volunteers and community groups have worked tirelessly all week and will continue to work around the clock for as long as necessary to help keep people safe and to manage the flood risk.

"This extra and expert resource couldn't be more welcome to support already exhausted communities and help us respond to further weather warnings across Calderdale."

Storm Dennis is forecast to bring heavy rain across the Pennines, leaving towns like Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd in the Calder valley at risk of further flooding.

Additional reporting by agencies

Tom Barnes15 February 2020 09:26
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John Curtin, Executive Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management at the Environment Agency, said the flood risks posed by Storm Dennis will arrive in phases across different parts of the country.

According to a graphic he tweeted, northern and northwest parts of England including Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, and Yorkshire will be hit by heavy rains and flooding first from Saturday afternoon well into Monday afternoon.

They will be followed by parts of London and southwest England, which will see larger flood impacts on Sunday. The west and east Midlands is also at risk for flooding from the early hours of Sunday.

Tom Barnes15 February 2020 09:44
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At least 4,000 passengers have been affected by easyJet flight cancellations, wrecking half-term getaways.

Most of the affected flights are at the airline’s main base, Gatwick. Almost 100 departures and arrivals have been deleted from the destination boards, including multiple departures to Geneva, Barcelona and Faro in Portugal

Luton is next worst affected, with 16 ski flights – to Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon – making up one third of the 48 cancellations.

Tom Barnes15 February 2020 10:14
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A British man named Storm Denniss said he has been inundated with messages from online trolls angry about the incoming Storm Dennis.

Mr Denniss, 24, said he received over 50 messages on Facebook begging him not to wreak havoc since the actual storm was named the same name on Tuesday.

One message read: "Alright mate, not being funny but if your [sic] planning on blowing s*** around my town this week you better think twice!"

Storm Denniss, 24, is a furniture maker from Whitby (SWNS)Another said: "Hey storm dennis don't be showing your face at the weekend I don't want to be blown over and be rolling down hill like sonic the hedgehog."

The furniture maker from Whitby is taking the messages in jest and said his family also made jokes about the storm having the same name as him.

"People are definitely messaging me in a light-hearted way and I will get more because the storm has not even started yet," said Mr Denniss.

"I've had loads of messages from people calling me names. I just sit there scrolling through it and find it hilarious. I know people aren't being serious and are just having a laugh.

"It's cool to have a storm named after me to be honest. I have joked that I want it to be a storm to remember now it has my name to it."

He added: "I imagine if it does cause damage then it'll only get worse too. I am concerned about how much damage it will cause and I do hope it won't be too bad."

Storm Dennis is expected to bring a month's worth of rainfall to the UK in just 24 hours when it hits.

Tom Barnes15 February 2020 10:30
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Met Office forecasters are most worried about damage caused by heavy rain as Storm Dennis sweeps in.

Northwest England is likely to be among the worst affected areas, as grounds saturated with rainwater from Storm Ciara will flood again at a faster rate.

A Met Office forecaster told the Independent: "Rivers will respond much faster this week than they did last week. Rainfall will have a quicker effect unfortunately."

Tom Barnes15 February 2020 10:33
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The Environment Agency has delivered extra pumps to areas in Cumbria and Lancashire to prepare for flooding.

Tom Barnes15 February 2020 10:40

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