Severe Weather Hits UK Again

By now it’s a familiar story. Severe weather hits, leaving behind destruction and floods in parts of England and Wales. Then a few days of respite to clear up the mess before the next onslaught comes.

The UK weather forecast for today and through the coming weekend makes for some tough reading, especially for those in the south and south west of England. Gale force winds and heavy rain are likely to be a feature all through the weekend. This comes after a night of heavy rain across much of the south.

Somerset Levels
The Environment Agency has issued its usual long list of flood warnings. At the time of writing there are 2 Severe Flood Warnings, applied to a flood incident that is a danger to life. Both of them have been issued for the Somerset Levels area. in that area 80 homes in Moorland have been evacuated, and residents in Northmoor, Fordgate and Saltmoor were also strongly advised to leave.

But while 100s of residents and 1000s of cattle leave, the area seems to be on the receiving end of an endless stream of visitors going the other way, including Royalty (Prince Charles visited yesterday), the Royal Marines, members of the media, teams from the Environment Agency and various volunteers, plus the less welcome visits of various politicians. Lord Smith, the Chairman of the Environment Agency, managed to do a sterling job of making an official visit to a flood zone without saying anything and without getting wet. Even Prince Charles got his wellies wet.

Coastal Flooding
Elsewhere, coastal areas, in particular Cornwall and parts of Devon, were badly hit by storms and storm surges last night.

The Chesil Beach area of Dorset was also badly affected by the storm.

Severe Weather Warnings for South East England and London
The Met Office weather warnings for the weekend include London and the south-east, as well as the flood-ravaged parts of the south west. There are currently 72 flood warnings for the south-east region, compared to 26 for the south-west.

Flooding Incidents
It’s an impossible task to keep track of where has been hit by flooding so far today. I’ve done my best to have a quick count up below (not including Somerset Levels and the south west coastal areas mentioned above). All of the areas hit so far today are in the south of England, most of them in the South East of England.

Essex and Suffolk
Fire crews have dealt at least 70 flood related incidents across the county. Flooding has been reported in Finchingfield, Great Yeldham, Saffron Walden, Newport, Wendens Ambo, Debden, Stansted, Arkesden, Ashdon,Quendon and Henham. Roads and traffic have been badly affected, with some roads under 30cm of water.

essex floods
Floodsin Finchingfield, Essex. Photo by Pat Casey

Haverhill in Suffolk has also been affected by flooding.

Shropshire
Reports of flooding in Trescott, where a man was trapped in his car in flood water. There has been some minor flooding in the Bishop’s Castle area. Ironbridge has erected flood defences, and some flooding has been seen in Shrewsbury due to rising river levels.

Hampshire
Some flooding has been reported in the small village of Romsey.

Buckinghamshire
Rerports of flooding in Aylesbury, Bledlow, Buckland, Ivinghoe Aston, Drayton Beauchamp, Long Marston, Stone, Haddenham and Weston Turville. There have also been reports of vehicles getting stranded in floodwater in Bishopstone, Bledlow, Haddenham and Monks Risborough.

Surrey
River levels are extremely high in some areas. The River Mole for example, is expected to reach record levels over the weekend. Some flooding has already hit Leatherhead. There have also been some reports of minor flooding in Guildford.

Hertfordshire
Levels of the River Beane at Hertford are dangerously high. Lea Valley Park in Cheshunt is severely flooded. Many roads across the county have been closed, as have some schools. There have been reports of flooding at Muchhadham, Hooks Cross, Aston, Watton-at-Stone, Baldock, Puckeridge and Buntingford.

Berkshire
There have been reports of flooding in Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell.

Current Flood Warnings for England and Wales