Ireland and UK – Evacuations and Flood Rescues as Heavy Rain Causes Flash Flooding

Flash flooding affected parts south west England, Wales and Ireland on 21 January, 2018. Some areas of France have also seen heavy rain and flood warnings are in place.

In England and Wales, emergency services were called upon to rescue a number of people stranded in vehicles in flood water. Several houses were evacuated as flood water raced through the streets of Barnstaple in Devon, England. (Update: The BBC also reported flood rescues in Armagh, Northern Ireland.)

At one point during Sunday evening there were 6 flood warnings in place for south-west England and 44 flood alerts, and 4 flood warnings and more than 20 flood alerts in Wales.

Other areas of the UK saw heavy snow and freezing temperatures as low as -13.5C in the Highlands of Scotland.

Surface flooding across parts of Ireland has left roads closed in the counties of Kilkenny, Sligo, Laois, Tipperary, Dublin and Limerick.

Heavy rain has also affected parts of France. Earlier today Météo France issued orange alerts for heavy rain and flooding in as many as 20 departments.

South West England

Several areas recorded over 30 mm of rain in 24 hours. Wistlandpound, in the west of Exmoor National Park, recorded 40.6mm.

A number of houses were evacuated in Barnstaple, according to Devon Police. No casualties were reported. Severe flash flooding also damaged some houses in Combe Martin, about 15km to the north. A road just outside Combe Martin was closed after a landslide caused a section of the road to collapse.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said teams were called upon to carry out flood rescues in Brayford, North Devon and near Wells, Somerset, when vehicles were trapped in flood water.

Levels of several rivers in the county rose to above flood stage, including the Bray, Mole and Exe.

Wales

Firefighters have been called to help a number of people stranded in vehicles in flood water in Talsarn in Ceredigion, Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, Llancarfan in the Vale of Glamorgan and Reynoldston, Swansea. Some roads have been closed in affected areas.

In Talsarn the Aeron river rose dramatically, reaching 2.898 metres on 21 January. Flood stage is around 1 metre and the record high 3.3metres, set in 2005.

Severe flash flooding was also reported in Llandre, a village in Ceredigion.

As of early Monday 22 January, Natural Resources Wales had flood warnings in place for the River Severn at Pool Quay and Trewern and the River Ritec at Tenby.

Ireland

Around Ireland, surface flooding caused road closures in the counties of Kilkenny, Sligo, Laois, Tipperary, Dublin and Limerick.

Rising levels of the Barrow and Owenass Rivers prompted Laois County Council and the Civil Defence set up emergency flood defences in the town of Mountmellick in the north of Laois County.

As of 22 January, levels of the Barrow river at Borness stood at 2.307 metres. Median flood stage is 2.25 and record high is 2.714 set in 1990. Borness is about 3km upstream from Mountmellick.

Around 100 homes suffered flood damage in Mountmellick after the River Barrow burst its banks on 22 November, 2017.

France

Heavy rain has also affected parts of France and Météo France has issued orange alerts for heavy rain and flooding in as many as 20 departments. Warnings for heavy snow and avalanches have also been issue for some departments in the east.

Météo France reports that rain is continuing to fall in the North and the East.

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