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Threat of significant flooding for Northern England

A684 Sedbergh (photo Thomas Beresford)

Further spells of rain in northern England from Friday and into the weekend and early next week may lead to further significant river flooding, particularly across the Pennines and parts of Yorkshire, while ongoing river flooding remains probable for the lower Severn for the remainder of the week.

The Environment Agency is urging people to check their flood risk and remain prepared to take action as the situation changes.

As of 12:45 on Thursday 20 February there are 6 severe flood warnings meaning there is an immediate risk to life, 91 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected, and 154 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible, in place across the country.

England has already received 141% of its average February rainfall so far with some areas experiencing a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours. River levels continue to exceed existing records across the country. The Rivers Colne, Ribble, Calder, Aire, Trent, Severn, Wye, Lugg, and Derwent are among the many rivers where records have been broken.

Since the start of Storm Dennis, over 1,000 Environment Agency staff have been mobilised on the ground to operate flood defences and temporary pumps, clear debris from rivers and inspect damaged flood defences. Community information officers are also out supporting affected communities offering advice and assistance. Environment Agency operational teams have put up more than 6km of temporary flood barriers across the country and our flood defences have protected nearly 25,000 properties from the ongoing impacts of Storm Dennis.

Caroline Douglass, Director of Incident Management at the Environment Agency, said: “Flooding has a long lasting and devastating impact on people’s lives, and our thoughts remain with all those who have been flooded.

“Further spells of rain in northern England from Friday and into the weekend may lead to further significant river flooding, particularly across the Pennines,  while ongoing river flooding remains probable for the lower Severn for the remainder of the week.

“This is the third weekend we have seen exceptional river levels and stormy weather, and with the effects of climate change, we need to prepare for more frequent periods of extreme weather like this.  People need to be aware of their flood risk, sign up to flood warnings, make a flood plan and not to drive or walk through flood water.”

The public can keep up to date with the latest safety advice, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates.

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