The Environment Agency is urging people to sign up to flood warnings and to check the latest safety advice as Storm Dennis is set to arrive in the UK on Saturday.
Heavy, persistent rain on Saturday and Sunday is likely to bring significant river and surface water flooding to parts of the North, South East and South West of England over the weekend and into next week. Current forecasts indicate a heightened risk of flooding in parts of West and North Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent.
The Environment Agency is working with partners across the country to reduce the risk of flooding brought by the severe weather conditions. Preparations are being made to operate flood defences, flood storage reservoirs and to put up temporary barriers where needed to help protect communities ahead of the incoming weather.
As of 2pm on 13 February there are 21 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected, and 138 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible, in place across the country.
Caroline Douglass, Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “We have teams out across England today preparing for the severe weather that we are expecting over the weekend. We are ready to operate our flood defences, including the Foss Barrier in Yorkshire and the Thames Barrier in London as well as our flood storage reservoirs right across the country to reduce the risk of flooding.
“Our operations teams are putting up additional temporary flood barriers where needed, including in Bewdley on the River Severn to help keep homes and businesses safe from rising river levels. We will continue to monitor weather and river levels closely and we are preparing to issue flood warnings to communities at risk to help them take action and stay safe.
“We are advising people to sign up for flood warnings by phone, text or email and to access the latest safety advice on gov.uk by searching ‘sign up for flood warnings’. Remember to never drive or walk through flood water, just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car – it’s not worth the risk.”
Paul Gundersen, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office said: “Storm Dennis will bring a disruptive spell of weather over the weekend, and there are warnings in place for strong winds and heavy rain.
“In parts of Devon, South Wales, northern England and a swathe of southern England – stretching from Andover eastwards – rainfall is expected to be particularly heavy and persistent, and these areas are covered by amber warnings because of the risk of flooding and other disruption.”