‘Bomb cyclone’ Storm Dennis – record flood warnings, death and destruction

Environment News

The UK is being lashed by Storm Dennis whose heavy rain and strong winds is leaving a trail of destruction across swathes of the country, closing roads and railways lines with a record number of flood warnings in place.

The Met Office has issued its most severe red weather warning in Wales where a man’s body has been recovered from a river near Trebanos in the Swansea Valley – with hundreds of flood warnings issued across the whole country as “bomb cyclone” Storm Dennis shows little signs of abating, bringing more persistent, heavy rain.

The Environment Agency (EA) has warned the flooding will “continue” and urged people to “remain vigilant”.

“Significant river and surface water flooding is expected to continue with river levels remaining high especially in York, West Midlands, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the South of England,” said the agency.

They have issued more than 600 flood warnings and alerts in England alone – a record highest number for a single day – with major incidents declared in south Wales, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire.

In Scotland, the Daily Record reports the storm has turned “roads into rivers” as the “bomb cyclone” – caused by a sudden drop in a low-pressure weather system known as ‘explosive cyclogenesis’ – delivers torrential rain whipped by high winds.

Severe flooding will continue

“Severe flooding will continue through today and tomorrow,” said the EA’s manager for Hereford and Worcestershire, Dave Throup, on Twitter, adding the “extreme and dangerous conditions” on local rivers “will get worse in many areas.”

West Mercia Police echoed Throup’s plea to people to stay at home with a statement on Twitter: “Please don’t travel unless it is critical to do so today. Many roads are closed due to the flooding.”

The Chief Inspector of Worcester City Patrol tweeted: “I cannot stress enough – DO NOT drive through roads that are flooded. Water levels are rising quickly.”

‘Danger to life’ red weather warning

The Met Office red weather warning is set between 6.10am to 11pm today (Sunday) with “danger to life” from the impact of fast flowing or deep floodwater caused by Storm Dennis.

In West Yorkshire the army have been deployed to help flood stricken residents in the town of Calderdale.  North Yorkshire has 19 flood warnings in place and the city of York is bracing itself as the River Ouse is not expected to peak until Tuesday morning, with levels of 5.1 metres predicted (the record level is 5.4 metres in November 2000).

The Guardian reports large parts of the country are “facing days of disruption” caused by “one of the worst winter storms of recent times”, with power outages, flooding and evacuations from homes caused by the “bomb cyclone”. Road users and rail and air passengers face continuing delays, cancellations and closures.

Bellwin scheme to provide financial assistance

Storm Dennis has hit just a week after Storm Ciara caused massive disruption across the UK and saw the government release emergency funds to council’s under the Bellwin scheme.

The scheme provides “financial assistance to help local authorities meet uninsurable costs they incur when dealing with the aftermath of an emergency in their area.”

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