Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Britain set to be lashed by floods and strong winds as alerts warn that downpours will affect several counties

Parts of Britain were put on flood alert today (Nov. 20) with heavy rain due in the coming days, the Environment Agency has warned. Forecasters are predicting that up to four inches of rain will fall in south-west England and south-east Wales before the weekend. With the downpours falling on already saturated ground, there is a risk that river and groundwater flooding will occur in several counties. Strong winds are also forecast for later in the week, which raising fears of surface water flooding as wind-blown leaves and debris could block drains.

Donnie Scobie,
Donnie Scobie, a resident of Comrie clears up water from the floods. Comrie in Perthshire was his by severe floods on Monday at the River Ruchill, burst its banks for the second time in four months

The Environment Agency last night had five flood warnings in place in the south west, for areas on the rivers Axe, Dart, Parrett and Char, and 34 less serious flood alerts in the region and elsewhere in England. Teams from the government agency have been mobilised to check on flood defences, clear river blockages and monitor water levels, with fears of flooding in counties including Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire.

The first band of heavy rain will fall in the south west and southern Wales tomorrow, with more than 1.5 inches falling in the worst hit areas. Another deluge is expected on Thursday with up to 2.5 inches of water falling in the same region. The Met Office said it had weather warnings out for south west England and south east Wales, as well as western Scotland, over the next few days. A spokesman said: 'We are looking at 0.6 to 1.2 inches quite widely across the south west and south east Wales area and up to 1.6 inches in the worst-hit areas. There's pretty saturated ground following the rain around today, so there's the possibility of seeing some localised flooding.' He added there was a weather warning for Thursday for the south-western, southern Wales, and central England, with a downpours depositing up to 2.5 inches.
 A despairing resident of Comrie
A despairing resident of Comrie assesses the damage caused by the deluge of rain, which has caused so much heartache for the community
The community has been lashed by the dismal weathe
The community has been lashed by the dismal weather after one the rivers, a tributary of the River Earn, burst its banks and flooded homes and businesses

Forecasters also warned of strong gusts of up to 50-60mph. The flood warnings for the south of the UK came after more than 200 families were forced to evacuate their homes as serious flooding caused chaos. Around 100 properties became engulfed in several feet of water as swollen rivers across much of the Central Belt of Scotland burst their banks. Emergency services were stretched to the limit as overnight torrential downpours sparked by transatlantic storms wreaked havoc, severely disrupting transport links. In some areas, more than a quarter of the normal monthly rainfall fell in a few hours, and last night there appeared to be no respite in sight as weather experts warned the deluge was likely to continue. The floods, which hit the Perthshire communities of Comrie, Dunblane, Aberfoyle and Callander came just weeks after dozens of local residents were forced to flee their homes.
 As the water spilled into the roads and rose up
As the water spilled into the roads and rose up until it gushed through people's homes, emergency services tried to help residents flee their homes and rescue their belongings
Comrie in Highland Perthshire near Crieff was declared a 'major incident'
Comrie in Highland Perthshire near Crieff was declared a 'major incident' by Tayside Fire and Rescue Service as the Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued six flood alerts and five flood warnings yesterday

Many householders had only just been given the go-ahead by insurers to repair previous damage when the weekend’s flood arrived. Hours of heavy rainfall began to take its toll when the River Ruchill, a tributary of the River Earn, burst its banks near Dalginross. A 70-strong army of firefighters and ten appliances were sent by Tayside Fire and Rescue Service along with a rescue boat to evacuate people and pump water away from homes. Another seven specialist appliances, including a heavy rescue unit, later joined in the rescue. Water rescue specialists were dispatched from Perth and Dundee fire stations, and from Grampian Fire and Rescue Service. The flooding quickly extended across most of Comrie, where nearby roads were closed by police and a cordon put up as the River Ruchill, Gaelic for ‘red flood’, lived up to its name.
 Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse
Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse met with residents of Comrie the day after the flood hit the town and destroyed so many properties
Ten fire units were called to the town to help evacuate local residents
Ten fire units were called to the town to help evacuate local residents from their flooded homes and distribute sandbags after the devastating flood

A special operations response team was sent to the scene from Edinburgh. Tayside Police also helped coordinate the rescue operation, with an extra 1,000 sandbags distributed to add to the 2,000 already in use in Comrie. An emergency rest centre was set up to try and help those affected by the downpours. Despite this year's dismal weather, a strong mistletoe harvest will guarantee a kiss for fans of the tradition this Christmas. The apple trees, which play host to the festive plant may have taken a battering during the wet summer. But mistletoe has grown well this year, according to specialist auctioneer Nick Champion, although many plants still have unripe green berries. Mr Champion, who has been conducting annual sales of the festive plants for 33 years, said he expects the price of mistletoe looks to stay low. 'There's still not a lot of money around for things like this so I think prices will be much the same as last year,' he said.

Source:Daily Mail UK   

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