Wainfleet flooding: Risk remains high as more heavy rain forecast

‘We will see large amounts of rain fall quickly and could see further flash flooding,’ says Met Office

Alessio Perrone
Tuesday 18 June 2019 18:36
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A house surrounded by flood water in Wainfleet, which saw two months’ worth of rain in two days
A house surrounded by flood water in Wainfleet, which saw two months’ worth of rain in two days

More torrential rain is set to hit swathes of the UK, bringing a renewed risk of flooding and worsening the situation in areas already underwater.

Government agencies battling to pump out excess water in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire were braced for further storms on Tuesday, while more heavy rainfall is forecast for southeast England overnight.

“We are going to see large amounts of rainfall quickly and we could see further flash flooding,” a Met Office spokesperson told The Independent.

Doug Wilson, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, added: “There will continue to be an increased flood risk in the Wainfleet area until Saturday, with a risk of heavy thundery showers today and more prolonged showers tomorrow.”

Mr Wilson said Environment Agency staff were working around the clock alongside emergency services to protect people and property.

The agency updated its flood warning to say that there could be further issues if the thunderstorms affect the Wainfleet area.

The Met Office said any location within central and east England would probably see between 15mm and 30mm of rain, with some areas getting as much as 50mm, between Tuesday evening and Wednesday.

It comes on top of the 132mm of rain – more than two months' worth – that fell on Wainfleet in just two days between 10 and 12 June.

The River Steeping burst its banks on Wednesday, flooding some 130 homes and causing the evacuation of 590 in total. The occupants might not be able to return until Friday 21 June.

Other Wainfleet residents have been told to avoid using toilets, washing machines and baths due to a strain on the sewerage system.

“With very wet ground, any rain falling could cause rivers to rise quickly, so please prepare, act, survive and know your flood risk,” said the Environment Agency Midlands in a tweet.

RAF Chinook helicopters have dropped more than 330 one-tonne sandbags to repair the River Steeping bank and police are monitoring the area to look out for any other breaches of flood defences.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency installed two “ultra-high volume” pumps to help remove water from the affected areas.

On Monday, the Environment Agency's Midlands department said its teams had pumped 225 Olympic-sized swimming pools’ worth of water away from Wainfleet overnight.

But the spell of bad weather could also bring a risk of floods in other places of the UK, although river levels are decreasing in most of the areas at risk.

“Heavy and persistent thunderstorms today and tomorrow will bring a risk of surface water and river flooding for southern, central and eastern England,” said Mr Wilson.

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The Met Office has issued weather warnings for the Southeast, East Anglia, the East Midlands and some of the Northeast from 6pm Tuesday until 9pm Wednesday.

Strong gusty winds and lightning strikes are also expected, and forecasters said the storms and floods could cause power cuts, train and bus delays and disruption for drivers.

The bulk of the bands of rain will move northwards tomorrow, but more isolated thundershowers will follow close behind.

Thursday will see more scattered shower before Friday and Saturday bring some relief and a couple of dry days. However, the Met Office forecasts more rain from Sunday.

Additional reporting by PA

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