The Environment Agency today warned of an increased risk of significant, and in parts, severe flooding for rivers today across many areas of England and Wales.
Torrential rain is affecting large parts of East Anglia, the Midlands, Northern England and Wales. Flooding of properties and disruption to travel is expected across these areas today and people are being urged to take action to prepare.
Areas at greatest likelihood of severe flooding include Derbyshire, Lancashire, South and West Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Greater Manchester, Blackburn, Blackpool, Warrington, Cheshire and Halton.
It urgently encouraged people to check the Environment Agency’s website and listen to local media for the latest information, sign up for flood warnings and move valuable possessions to safety.
Currently there is one Flood Warning and 87 Flood Alerts in place, however more Alerts, Warnings and potentially Severe Flood Warnings are likely to be issued this morning.
Rivers that respond quickly to rainfall are especially prone to flooding today.
The heavy rainfall will also lead to flooding from surface water – caused when rain overwhelms drainage systems.
Prepare for flooding
The Environment Agency has mobilised teams across the country to operate flood defences, clear any river blockages and closely monitor river levels and issue warnings. The Environment Agency is also advising local authorities and the emergency services to prepare for flooding.
Craig Woolhouse, Environment Agency Head of Food Incident Management, said: 'Torrential rain today means that flooding of properties and disruption to travel is expected across many parts of England and Wales. Communities in Derbyshire, Lancashire, South and West Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Greater Manchester, Blackburn, Blackpool, Warrington, Cheshire and Halton are at greatest risk of severe flooding.
'We would urge the public to remain vigilant, keep in touch with the latest information and be prepared for what could be severe flooding, especially as river levels can rise very quickly and the ground in many places is already saturated.
'The public should check the Environment Agency website and Twitter feed for the latest updates and flood warnings for rivers, and think about moving valuable possessions to safety. Our Floodline service on 0845 9881188 can provide advice.
'Please also take great care near floodwater and don’t take risks driving or walking through floodwater.'
The Environment Agency updates its flood guidance every 15 minutes on its website and you can follow the Environment Agency on Twitter at @EnvAgency.
Met Office weather forecasts and warnings can be found on its website and you can follow the Met Office on Twitter at @metoffice and Facebook.