UK Floods – Flood Rescues and Houses Damaged in Cornwall

Saturday 06 February saw some heavy downpours in England – particularly in the South West and the Midlands – as well as parts of Wales and Scotland.

An amber severe weather warning for rain was issued by the Met Office for 06 Feb for South West England.

Severe flood warnings were issued by the Environment Agency later that day for several areas, including the River Brue and Glastonbury Millstream from Lovington to Highbridge in Somerset, and at Portreath in Cornwall.

By the afternoon of 07 February, there were still 43 flood warnings and 153 flood alerts in place.

At least 14 properties have been damaged and 5 flood rescues carried out.

The flood threat continues for the UK, particularly southern England, as storm Imogen approaches, which is likely to bring a combination of gales, high tides and heavy showers early next week.

Cornwall and the South West

The Environment Agency said the situation in Portreath was a result of “the Portreath tunnel trash screen now overtopping.” Evacuation plans had been drawn up for around 50 homes but weren’t required in the end after teams were able to unblock the screen by late afternoon. Around 9 houses in the village were flooded.

Flooding, with some damage to two properties was reported in Angarrack and three properties were flooded in Blackwater.

Drivers and passengers from at least 5 vehicles had to be rescued by emergency services after they became stuck in flood waters.

Some river levels were also high in parts of the neighbouring counties of Devon and Dorset, where flood warnings were also issued. The Environment Agency warned that on Sunday and Monday rivers in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset will continue to rise bringing a possibility of minor flooding.

River Clyst overflowing towards the Exe Estuary Photo: NPAS Exeter
River Clyst overflowing towards the Exe Estuary
Photo: NPAS Exeter

Midlands

Part of the River Anker in Warwickshire burst its banks on Sunday 07 February in the Weddington area near Nuneaton. The Environment Agency warned that there is also a continued risk of minor river flooding from the River Severn from Sunday until Wednesday as the river continues to rise in response to heavy rainfall. Rising rivers in Oxfordshire may also pose a flood risk.

Flood warnings across South West England, the Midlands and parts of Wales. Image: Environment Agency
Flood warnings across South West England, the Midlands and parts of Wales. Image: Environment Agency

Scotland

In Scotland, SEAP said on Sunday 07 February that “A further band of rainfall and hill snow will affect this area during Sunday causing river levels to rise later today”. Flood warnings were issued for several parts of Tayside.

Flooding of the major motorway, the M9, forced authorities to close the road around Bannockburn and Craigforth.

Rainfall

Initial figures suggest that Camborne in west Cornwall saw 40 mm of rain in 24 hours on 06 February. Cardinham, also in Cornwall, saw 30.2mm. In North Wales, Capel Curig saw 32mm.

Rainfall map for 06 February 2016. Image: Met Office
Rainfall map for 06 February 2016. Image: Met Office

The recent heavy rain follows 2 months of severe wet weather for parts of Scotland, Wales and northern England.

December was UK’s wettest month on record, according to the Met Office. January also saw extreme rainfall. Parts of Eastern Scotland and Northern England had around 3 times the monthly average. More rain falling on saturated ground will increase the risk of flooding.

UK January rainfall totals - areas of Scotland and northern England have seen 3 times normal amounts. Image: Met Office
UK January rainfall totals – areas of Scotland and northern England have seen 3 times normal amounts. Image: Met Office

Storm Imogen Could Bring Coastal Flooding

It isn’t just the rain that poses the flood threat.

The Met Office is warning that a period of stormy weather generated by storm Imogen is expected over southern parts of England today and into early next week. The Environment Agency said in a statement earlier today that a combination of gales, high tides and heavy showers will lead to an increased flood risk.

On Sunday night and into Monday storm force winds are expected to lead to overtopping waves and spray for south-west and south of England, particularly the Devon and Cornwall coasts, the Bristol Channel, and parts of the Kent and Sussex coastline.

It is possible that we will see flooding of coastal roads and isolated coastal properties. Large waves are also forecast and people should take care on exposed coastal promenades.

Jonathan Day, Environment Agency Duty Flood Risk Manager said:

“Storm Imogen will lead to large waves and spray along the south and south-west coastal parts of England on Sunday night and Monday. We understand it is tempting to see the force of Mother Nature but people should take extreme care on coastal paths and not put themselves and rescue workers at risk. Please listen to the advice of the coastguard and the police about safe places to be. Flooding of low lying coastal roads is also possible and people should also avoid driving through flood water”.

Check flood warnings on the Environment Agency website here.