Heavy rains in the UK and Wales – hundreds of flood warnings issued

Ulewne deszcze w Wielkiej Brytanii

Rainy winters are no surprise to Britons, but this year the weather has been particularly unkind to them. Heavy rains in the UK and Wales last week led to numerous floods and traffic disruptions. Flooded roads, closed schools and paralyzed rail traffic are just a few examples of the consequences of the intense rainfall that Islanders have faced in recent days.

England’s Environment Agency has issued hundreds of flood warnings and alerts

Heavy rains in the UK and Wales, which persisted for several days last week, caused groundwater and river levels to rise, resulting in numerous floods. The Met Office issued three yellow weather warnings on Thursday (February 22, 2024), all related to heavy rainfall. In some areas of England on that day, more than 32 mm of rain fell in an hour. According to meteorologists, the heaviest precipitation was recorded in Whitebarrow, Dartmoor, and amounted to as much as 68 mm/h. Intense downpours were also accompanied by gusty winds, which were forecast to reach speeds of up to about 100 km/h.

As of 11:00 a.m. Saturday, the English Environment Agency (AE) maintained 216 alerts and 65 warnings indicating a real threat of flooding. Almost all of central and southeastern England was put on alert. Heavy rains in the UK continued unabated throughout last weekend. On Monday, February 26, the number of announcements remained almost unchanged. AE continued to report flood risks in 66 regions, and issued flood alerts for 214.

The highest risks were in the area west of the River Rother, the lower section of the Dorset Frome River, and in the towns of Hamm Court, Purley Village, Shiplake, Lower Shiplake and Wargrave, as well as in Abingdon near the Thames, among others. Wales also had to deal with the consequences of heavy rainfall. National Resources Wales (NRW), the Welsh equivalent of AE, maintained 1 flood warning for residents of Tenby, located on the Ritec River, and 6 flood alerts on February 24. On Monday, February 26, the situation improved, with the number of flood warnings issued by NRW dropping to 0. Residents could breathe a sigh of relief.

Closed schools, flooded roads – consequences of heavy rains in the UK

Heavy rains in the UK have led to paralysis in many regions. In Herefordshire and Worcestershire, classes have been canceled at several schools due to increasing flood risks and dangerous road conditions. In the West Midlands county, located in the Midwest of England, many roads and railroads have been flooded. Rail carriers worked hard to resume traffic, and Transport for Wales and West Midlands Railway offered passengers replacement bus services between Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton.

Problems on rail lines also occurred in Herefordshire, on sections between Worcester Foregate St and Hereford and between Plymouth and Newton Abbot. Disrupted connections were also reported in Devon, where the River Axe has fallen from its banks, as well as in Cornwall. Warnings have been issued in many regions of the country about the possibility of road closures and detours, flooding of properties and sewage systems due to steadily rising river and groundwater levels. Unrelenting rainfall resulted in real threats.

Heavy rains in UK once again in 2024 lead to flooding

British and Welsh people are once again facing the effects of heavy rainfall this year. In January, torrential rains caused by Storm Isha, or Orkan Henk, led to flooding, inundation of hundreds of homes and many traffic difficulties. The current flooding conditions in this area of Europe are a consequence of the very heavy rainfall that has been occurring since the beginning of the month, as confirmed by Graham Madge, a Met Office spokesman. He explained that: These conditions in themselves are not exceptional, but after significant amounts of rainfall in February, the cumulative effect means that river catchments are more vulnerable to additional rainwater.

The cooling forecast last week is expected to improve the situation. Lower temperatures, more typical of the UK in February, will make the strong winds and heavy rains subside.

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