UK – Evacuations After Storm Angus Brings Flooding to Parts of Wales and South West England

Storm Angus – the first named UK storm of this winter – brought high winds, rain and waves to parts of southern England and Wales on Sunday, with further rain and flood warnings issued for today, Monday 21 November.

In Devon, 59mm of rain was recorded in Exeter between 19 and 20 November, according to the Met Office. This is around half of what is usually expected in the area for the entire month of November.

Evacuations

Around 100 people were evacuated in the early hours of 20 November after the River Mole in South Molton in North Devon burst its banks. Devon and Cornwall Police said the water was over 1 metre deep.

A Serve Flood Warning was issued by the Environment Agency. Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Falmouth Coastguard, district and County Council staff and the Environment Agency all worked together to ensure the safety of the residents and to evacuate some of them. Police said that the flood waters receded soon after.

Some flooding has also been reported in Braunton, a town regularly affected by floods. Streets have been closed in the town, and homes and businesses affected.

Strong winds and high waves left sea walls damaged and roads flooded in Swanage, Dorset. The storm has also caused power cuts for more than 1,000 homes in the south west.

On Monday, parts of Bristol were also affected by flooding and the severe weather caused major delays on motorways in the area.

Wales

Some parts of South Wales were also affected by the storm on Sunday. News site Wales Online said that the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service reported 47 flooding incidents in Maesteg, where some residents were forced to evacuated their homes.

There were also 17 flooding incidents reported in Pencoed, 10 in Pontycymer, eight in Bridgend, seven in Ogmore Vale, seven in Pontllanfraith and six in Llantwit Major on Sunday.

Warnings of Further Heavy Rain

An amber “be prepared” warning for rain has been issued for Devon for Monday, with a possible 60 mm of rain in some areas. A yellow level rain alert is in place for other areas of southwest England, and also Wales and parts of northeast England, which is likely to see some heavy rain on Tuesday.

The Met Office said:

“On Monday a further broad area of heavy, persistent rain will move northwards across southwest England…Some 20-30 mm of rain is expected fall in a 3-6 hour period in places, and a low risk of this falling in 1-2 hours. There could be as much as 40-60 mm possible locally through the whole of Monday. The ground has been left very wet from Saturday night’s rain and this increases the risk of further flooding.”

Rivers

The Environment Agency (EA) said that teams are closely monitoring rapid response catchments in Devon, the Rye and Derwent, Upper Calder and Upper Don/Dearne catchments in Yorkshire, Skinningrove and Middlesbrough Becks catchments in the North East and the Upper Irwell and Mersey catchments in Greater Manchester.

EA also warned that there could also be spray and overtopping at the coast in the areas affected due to associated wind.

Alison Baptiste, National Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said:

“Large parts of southern England have already experienced the impacts of Storm Angus this weekend. With more heavy rain on its way, people in the north and south west need to be prepared for the risk of flooding.

“Environment Agency teams have been out working through the night and we are now preparing for further flooding as rain continues over the next couple of days.

“People should remember not to drive through flood water and be aware travel may be disrupted. Environment Agency teams will clear blockages in rivers, continue to issue flood warnings and may operate flood gates and sea defences.

“Everyone can sign up to receive free flood warnings based on their postcode, check updates on our website or call Floodline for advice on 0345 988 1188.”

As of 09:00 on 21 November, 2016, there are 5 flood warnings (Flooding is expected, immediate action required) and 64 flood alerts issued by the Environment Agency. The Flood Warnings are all for areas in southwest England:

  • River Barle from Simonsbath to Brushford, including Withypool
  • River Clyst from Broadclyst to Clyst St. Mary
  • River Mole at North Molton
  • River Mole from South Molton to Newnham Bridge, including Alswear
  • Washford River, riverside properties from Kingsbridge to Lower Roadwater

Flood summary

Last updated: November 28, 2016
Event
Storm Angus, England and Wales, November 2016
Date
November 19, 2016
Type
Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Braunton
B - South Molton
C - Maesteg
D - Hengrove Bristol
E - Stalybridge
F - Hyde
G - Harrogate
H - Hambleton
I - Wymeswold

Magnitude

Rainfall level
59 mm in 24 hours
Exeter - November 19 to November 20, 2016
Rainfall level
50 mm in 24 hours
Dunkeswell - November 20 to November 21, 2016

Damages

Evacuated
100 people
South Molton - November 20 to November 20, 2016
Evacuated
40 people
Maesteg - November 20 to November 20, 2016
Buildings damaged
150 buildings
November 20 to November 24, 2016
Fatalities
2 people
November 20 to November 24, 2016
1 man died in floods in Neath, Wales. A woman died after being swept out to sea off the coast of Folkestone, Kent

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