Britain yesterday battled fallout from Storm Dennis as hundreds of flood warnings remained in place after the second severe storm in seven days battered the country over the weekend.
The latest hazardous weather brought winds of more than 140kms an hour and more than a month’s worth of rain in 48 hours in some places, leading officials to issue rare “danger to life” warnings.
“This is not yet over,” warned James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, which is responsible for flood protection.
“We still have many flood warnings in force and we may still see significant flooding in the middle of this week from larger rivers,” he told BBC radio.
Bevan said more than 400 homes in England had been flooded while at least 1,000 agency staff were working “to protect and support those communities which have been hit”.
More than 600 warnings and alerts — a record number — were issued on Sunday, extending from the River Tweed on the border of England and Scotland, to Cornwall in the southwest.
After a day of torrential rain, major flooding incidents were declared in south Wales and parts of west central England.
Some three “severe” warnings — denoting lives could be endangered by the floodwaters — remained active yesterday on two rivers in the English region.
Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue service on Sunday airlifted to hospital one man pulled from the River Teme, who was in a stable condition yesterday.
Emergency responders also restarted the search for a missing woman swept away near the flood-prone town of Tenbury. “Sadly, however, due to the circumstances of the length of time in the water and other conditions we believe that this will now be a recovery rather than rescue operation,” said chief superintendent Tom Harding, from West Mercia Police.
Two rivers in south Wales burst their banks Sunday, prompting rescue workers to launch operations to evacuate hundreds of people and their pets trapped in their homes.
Police there said a man in his 60s died after entering the River Tawe, north of the Welsh city of Swansea, but later clarified that the death was not “linked to the adverse weather”.
In northern England, the defence ministry deployed troops in West Yorkshire, hit by flooding from last weekend’s Storm Ciara. There were fears rivers there could burst their banks.
Newly appointed Environment Secretary George Eustice said the government had done “everything that we can do with a significant sum of money” to combat increased flooding.
“We’ll never be able to protect every single household just because of the nature of climate change and the fact that these weather events are becoming more extreme.”
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