The Environment Agency is urging communities in the North and East of England, the Midlands and much of Wales to be prepared for flooding, as two bands of very heavy rain cross the country tomorrow (Friday) and into Saturday.
The risk of flooding over the next few days is expected to be the highest of the year so far, with properties and transport in some parts of the country likely to be severely affected.
This very heavy rainfall is likely to lead to flooding from rivers and surface water – caused when rain overwhelms drainage systems. The most severe impacts are expected late Friday and into Saturday morning across Yorkshire and the North East of England, the Midlands and East Anglia.
Working around the clock
The Environment Agency has mobilised teams across the country to check on flood defences, clear any river blockages and closely monitor river levels. These teams are working around the clock to reduce the risk of flooding in the coming days.
Craig Woolhouse, Head of Flood Incident Management at the Environment Agency, said: “We are expecting some very significant flooding in the coming days across large parts of the country, and would strongly urge people to sign up to flood warnings, keep a close eye on the forecasts for their area and be prepared for flooding. We would also ask that people stay safe, by keeping out of dangerous flood water and not attempting to walk or drive through it.
'The Environment Agency has already opened incident rooms and has teams out on the ground checking on flood defences and clearing any blockages in order to reduce the risk of flooding as much as possible.'
Tony Waters, Deputy Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, said: 'We are expecting spells of very heavy and thundery rain across a wide area of the UK in the next few days, with worst affected spots likely to be in central and northern parts of the country.
'Rainfall totals could be 20-40 mm widely across warning areas, but some places could see around 100 mm of rain through Friday and into Saturday. Given the saturated ground from the record rainfall in June, this could cause significant disruption – including difficult driving conditions and flooding in some areas.'
It is expected that a large number of alerts and warnings will be issued in the next two days, so the Environment Agency is urging the public to remain vigilant and check its website and Twitter feed for the latest updates. It also advised the public to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through floodwater.
Flood warnings can be found on our website and you can follow the Environment Agency on Twitter at @EnvAgency. Flood warnings are also now available on Facebook through the dedicated FloodAlerts page.
Ways people can prepare for flooding
- Sign up to flood warnings: Floodline warnings direct is a free warnings service that sends a message directly to householders if flooding from rivers or the sea is expected to affect their property. People signing up to the service can receive warnings direct to their landline, mobile, via text message or email. Sign up through the EA website or call 0845 988 1188
- Move the things you can to safety: Take electrical and sentimental items upstairs or place them on top of higher furniture to keep them away from flood waters. Put important documents such as passports, insurance details etc. in water proof bags and keep them safe. Remove curtains or hand them over the curtain rods, and roll up rugs and carpets.
- Get advice and support: For help and practical advice on what to do before, during and after a flood, visit the Environment Agency website or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188.
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