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UK weather: Four more days of Met Office warnings as river levels rise further | UK News

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Flood-hit communities across England and Wales are bracing themselves for more heavy rain, with the Met Office issuing weather warnings for the next four days.

Hundreds of homes have been flooded and many more evacuated following the torrential downpours brought on by Storm Dennis.

The Environment Agency is warning that further flooding is possible as river levels continue to rise in some areas.



Water is pumped from house surrounded by flood near River Severn



Heavy flooding engulfs homes in Worcestershire

As of 3am on Wednesday, six severe flood warnings are in place in England – signifying there is a danger to life.

There are no longer any severe warnings in Wales – but five areas are being told that flooding is expected and immediate action is required.

Levels on the Rivers Wye and Severn are expected to remain especially high into the weekend after both broke records this week.

There are fears the Severn could break through flood barriers, threatening homes and properties in the Midlands.

The Environment Agency’s executive director of flood and coastal risk management, John Curtin, said: “We expect further disruptive weather into Wednesday and Thursday, bringing a significant flood risk to the West Midlands, and there are flood warnings in place across much of England.”

The yellow warnings for rain – which means there could be damage to homes and travel disruption – are also in place in parts of England and Wales until Saturday.

This includes northern and southern parts of Wales, as well as parts of Lancashire, on Wednesday and Thursday.

Later in the week, the warnings cover parts of Yorkshire.

In some areas, the water levels are continuing to rise
Image:
In some areas, the water levels are continuing to rise

West Mercia Police says around 384 properties have been “significantly impacted by the floods” across Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Five people have died during the storm, including a woman who was swept away by floodwater near Tenbury in Worcestershire.

Mountain rescue teams in Monmouth, Wales, rescued an elderly man from his home on a flooded road by breaking down his back door with a sledgehammer and moving him to safety on a raft.

Meanwhile, neighbours used canoes to reach their local Lidl supermarket.

Welsh Water also asked people in the town to reduce their drinking water usage after a treatment works flooded.

An elderly man is rescued from his home in Monmouth
Image:
An elderly man is rescued from his home in Monmouth

In Hereford and Worcestershire, residents have been urged to remain “vigilant”.

The area’s EA manager, David Throup, said: “There may be some short-term drops in levels but they may well rise again. We’re certainly not out of the woods yet, there is quite a long way to go with this flood.”

The government has now pledged to give affected homeowners up to £500 of relief.

The communities department has also pledged those hit severely by the rising water levels will not have to pay any council tax or business rates for at least three months.

A woman is rescued from floodwaters in Whitchurch, Herefordshire
Image:
A woman is rescued from floodwaters in Whitchurch, Herefordshire

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Storms Dennis and Ciara have severely impacted a large number of households and businesses – and I recognise how destabilising this can be.

“This extra support, including new funding, will help people in the worst-hit areas to recover and get back on their feet as soon as possible.”

Shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard has said the move “smacks of being a desperate PR exercise” after the government defied calls to convene its emergency response committee – known as COBRA – over the flooding.

“You can’t build flood barriers with government press releases and a decade of cuts to flood defence budgets can’t be undone by hurried announcements,” Mr Pollard said.

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