Floods precede more severe weather

Author: By Jamie Grierson, Press Association

The Environment Agency had 45 flood warnings in place across the UK, with the
greatest concentration in northern England.

Highways have been closed and homes are at risk in towns across Lancashire,
especially in areas near to the River Irwell and River Calder.

Roads in Todmorden were shut due to flooding and homeowners in Chatterton and
Strongstry have been warned they could be at risk.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said it had seen an increase in calls, and
had been out on 13 weather-related incidents.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said the authority was prepared.

He said: “We do have contingency plans in place; Lancashire County Council is
working with the emergency services and relevant agencies, and we’re fully
prepared for this situation.”

Forecasters at Meteogroup, the weather division of the Press Association,
warned the worst is far from over.

Brendan Jones said areas in the north west of England and south west of
Scotland were facing massive downpours over the next 36 to 48 hours.

A predicted deluge over Cumbria could lead to flooding in the county, he said.

He said: “Most of the rain has been across northern England where there have
been flood warnings in place.

“Cumbria is on the verge of flooding as well. In the 18 hours running up to
6am, 45mm of rain fell over the mountains of Cumbria.”

Mr Jones said north and west Wales would be affected by heavy rainfall over
Snowdonia.

“We’re basically talking about the zone around the Irish Sea; that’s where the
rain is and it’s not going to move.”

Strong winds of up to 55mph are also forecast across most of the country, Mr
Jones said, but the wind would take a “backseat” to the heavy rain to come.

Last weekend saw stormy weather with winds of 70mph on Saturday and gusts
reaching a top speed of 100mph in outlying areas, as well as driving rain.

The gale-force storms prompted almost 5,000 calls to the Environment Agency’s
helpline.

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