Woman swept away by floods is feared to be FIFTH person killed by Storm Dennis while water-ravaged Britons brace for MORE misery today with 488 areas on alert – as last of tempest strikes with 75mph gales and rain
- There are currently 596 Environment Agency flood warnings in place across England, Scotland and Wales
- Met Office have issued weather warning for two inches of snow over Grampians in Scotland tomorrow
- North and south Wales will get more heavy rain and wind through to Thursday after major incident declared
- Woman feared dead in Worcestershire, hill walker died on Ben Nevis and man died in floods in Wales Sunday
- Two men were pulled from rough seas off the Kent on Saturday, with thousands evacuated from their homes
- ** Have you been affected by flooding or high winds? Send you photographs to email@example.com **
Storm Dennis is feared to have claimed a fifth victim after a woman was swept away by floodwater in Worcestershire, with Britain still facing more rain, snow and gale-force winds this week.
West Mercia Police today announced the operation to the woman in Tenbury, Worcestershire, is now a ‘recovery not a rescue’ in light of the ‘circumstances of the length of time in the water’.
Thousands were evacuated from their homes over the weekend, which saw more than a month’s worth of rainfall in 48 hours and coastlines buffeted by 90mph winds.
The devastating impact of the floods is seen in shocking aerial pictures from the Powys village of Crickhowell after the River Usk burst its banks. A major incident was declared in Wales after a terrifying landslide in Tylorstown, Rhondda Cynon Taf yesterday.
York and the Cambridgeshire market town of St Ives are also nearly entirely submerged after flooding of the River Ouse. The River Wye is the highest it has ever been, causing more havoc in Herefordshire.
There are currently 488 Environment Agency flood warnings in place, including five ‘danger to life’ ones.
Before and after: The devastating impact of the floods is seen in shocking aerial pictures from the Powys village of Crickhowell after the River Usk burst its banks
Shocking drone pictures show the devastating scale of flooding the Welsh village of Crickhowell after the Usk flooded
The River Ouse burst its banks over the weekend leaving the Cambridgeshire market town of St Ives underwater
Winds and rain are set to die down this week, however floods are expected over the next couple of days, the Environmental Agency warned
A Met Office weather warning has also been issued for ice and snow over the Grampians in Scotland, which will be in place between 6pm tonight and 11pm on Tuesday.
Yellow warnings for wind and rain are also in place for north and south Wales on Wednesday and Thursday.
Two families in ‘miracle’ escape after automatic brakes on their Tesla Model X cars stopped them being crushed to death by a falling tree during Storm Dennis
Two families had a miracle escape when the automatic brakes on their Tesla cars stopped them being crushed to death by a falling tree in Storm Dennis
Financial consultant Laurence Sanderson was driving through Dorset in his £86,000 Model X electric saloon when the enormous oak was blown to the ground on February 15, near the village of Sturminster Marshall.
Pictured: Laurence Sanderson’s car
The 400-year-old tree landed on his bonnet, avoiding the roof when the car ground itself to a sudden halt.
Mr Sanderson, from Brentwood in Essex, said that had it not been for the automatic brakes, he and his family would have been ‘toast’.
Remarkably, the car travelling in the opposite direction was another Tesla, with the cutting-edge technology also working in the nick of time.
Blustery showers are set to continue throughout Monday and Tuesday, with western areas of England, Scotland and Wales the worst impacted. In the Scottish Highlands there will be snow in higher areas, as well as hail and spells of thunder.
Rain and increasingly strong winds will move in from the west on Wednesday morning spreading across the whole of the UK.
Rain will be persistent and heavy at times in Wales and north western England overnight and a further front will move through on Thursday bringing heavy downpours.
Chief Meteorologist Andy Page said: ‘Further rain will arrive on Wednesday evening and this is likely to become prolonged and possibly heavy over areas of high ground. For example, there is a chance that 60mm of rain could fall in parts of south Wales over 24 hours.
‘With the ground already saturated there is a chance of further flooding, members of the public should check their flood risk and stay up to date with flood warnings from Natural Resources Wales, SEPA, NI Direct and the Environment Agency.’
Fear of a fifth Storm Dennis death comes after West Mercia Police said they are now treating the operation to rescue a woman swept away by floodwater in Tenbury, Worcestershire, as a ‘recovery’ one due to ‘the circumstances of the length of time in the water and other conditions.’
Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said it had pulled one man from the River Teme at Eastham Bridge on Sunday morning, with a female casualty still unaccounted for as of about 4pm.
A man in his 60s died on Sunday after being pulled from the River Tawe near Trebanos Rugby Club in Wales, but Dyfed-Powys Police said his death was not being linked to the bad weather.
A 42-year-old hill walker was found dead after he went hiking in the Scottish Highlands on Sunday.
Police were scrambled to Stob Ban, a 3,278ft munro located on the south side of Glen Nevis, northwest of Kinlochleven, Highlands at around 1pm on Sunday, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The bodies of two men were pulled from rough seas off Kent on Saturday as the UK was struck by a storm for the second weekend in a row.
There are fears for a man called Leon Ford, 32, from Guildford, Surrey, who has not been seen since around 2am on Saturday.
Police are also looking for a woman, 36, who disappeared from a nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning and is believed to have run into the sea in Brighton.
Terrifying moment strong gust of wind sends a brick wall crashing to the ground in London
A brick wall was knocked to the ground after being hit by the gale force winds of Storm Dennis as it battered London.
Footage shows trees swaying in the 75mph winds outside a property in Elephant and Castle, London, at around 2am, on February 16.
A wall outside a property in Elephant and Castle, London, was knocked over by gale force winds during Storm Dennis
Within a few seconds, a wall comes crashing towards the pavement and sends bricks flying across the partially empty street.
The wall’s trellis was pulled off the top and is seen scattered near a parked car and motorbikes.
Moments later, the clip shows the aftermath of the incident with a property’s door step and pavement covered in crumbled bricks.
The Prime Minister is facing a backlash after it was revealed he has no plans to visit any of the flood-hit areas.
He is currently staying at a country estate in Chevening, Sevenoaks, while Parliament is in recess.
There is no COBRA meetings scheduled, despite the new Environment Secretary George Eustice insisting ministers have a ‘firm grip’ on the situation.
In the Calder Valley in Yorkshire, local authorities have called for their region to be given the same extra funding as London does to tackle terrorism so they have the best chance of limiting flood damage.
Storm Dennis was described as ‘life-threatening’ in South Wales, where the Met Office had a red warning in place until 11am today.
Forecasters said that winds of more than 80mph were recorded across parts of the country, with the highest measuring 91mph in Aberdaron in north Wales on Saturday.
A total of 156.2mm of rain fell at Crai Reservoir in Powys in the 48 hours from Friday to Sunday morning, it added. The average monthly rainfall for February in Wales is 111.1mm, the Met Office added.
Severe flood warnings have been issued for the rivers Neath and Taff, as well as the River Teme further north.
Pictures on social media show the Taff bursting its banks and flooding parts of Pontypridd, while rescue workers were using boats to get families to safety after further flooding in nearby Nantgarw.
Gwent Police said that residents of Skenfrith, Monmouthshire, were being advised to evacuate due to the flooding.
Rescue operations were also launched in Hereford today, where hundreds of homes have been evacuated.
Churches and leisure centres have opened their doors to take in evacuated residents as a severe flood warning remains in place for the River Wye.
Aerial images show the extent of flooding in Hereford, Herefordshire, on Monday after the nearby river burst its banks over the weekend
A baby is pictured being rescued from flooded homes in Hereford today after water levels at the Old Wye Bridge reached dangerous heights
Rescue boats are seen helping residents whose homes were flooded in Hereford, Herefordshire, this morning
It was so flooded in a park in Hereford this morning that these two men had to canoe their way through the floodwater
An EU flag in a garden in Hereford is pictured almost completely underwater after the River Wye reached record-breaking levels on Monday
Hereford was also blighted by floods on Monday morning after river levels rose dangerously high at Old Wye Bridge
A playground in the cathedral city of Hereford is half hidden by overwhelming levels of rainwater on Monday
Two women were forced to escape their home through a window in Hereford today after the River Wye flooded
Cars are pictured stranded in the middle of Hereford after water levels rose amid Storm Dennis
John Curtin, the EA’s executive director of flood and coastal risk management, tweeted that, despite the heaviest rain passing, there is still ‘a live incident as water makes its way through the bigger rivers’, with Hereford being ‘of most concern’.
David Throup, EA manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, tweeted that the River Wye was recorded as its highest ever level.
He said floodwater was slowly receding at Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire, describing a ‘horrible sight with many flooded homes and businesses’.
In one area of the city, roads were reported to have been submerged in 6ft of floodwater, local resident Laura Yarwood said.
Flooded fields are pictured near Marden, Herefordshire, on Monday in the aftermath of Storm Dennis
Aerial images show Hereford overwhelmed with floods after the River Wye reached its highest level in history
Pictures show the devastating effect of flooding in Lower Bullingham, Hereford, on Monday
The 32-year-old nursery owner evacuated her home in nearby Bodenham on Saturday in the face of flood warnings, and said the village has since been ‘completely cut off’.
‘I think most of the villages in Hereford have been cut off and I think there’ve been quite a few evacuations. It’s just crazy.
‘It’s the worst anyone in Hereford has ever seen it to be, and the fact that communities are being evacuated, that’s unheard of.’
Ms Yarwood closed her nursery in Thorn Business Park on Monday morning, after water began to affect the entrance to the industrial estate.
Aerial pictures showed extensive flooding around the park, the railway line and nearby homes.
Rescue workers are pictured on the beach in Brighton after a 36-year-old woman disappeared from a nightclub on Sunday
Police are also looking for a woman, 36, who disappeared from a nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning and is believed to have run into the sea in Brighton
A coach is seen submerged in floodwater from the River Teme on the A443 near Lindridge, Worcestershire, on Monday
Shown today, a car washed-away during flooding in Nantgarw, south Wales, where residents are returning to their homes to survey and repair the damage in the aftermath of Storm Dennis
The garden of Virginia Davis in south Wales, which was destroyed during floods caused by Storm Dennis over the weekend
Britain is facing another day of widespread flooding and travel chaos as Storm Dennis continues to batter the country with gale-force winds and heavy rain (shown right is wind warnings issued by the Met Office today)
A weather warning is in place for the Grampians in Scotland on Tuesday (left), with two others on Wednesday and Thursday for north and south Wales for rain and wind
Meanwhile, local businesses in South Wales are collecting donations for people who have lost everything and more than a dozen online fundraising appeals have been launched – raising nearly £30,000 in less than 24 hours.
Taff’s Well rugby club opened its doors to offer hot showers, food and drink but since then has become a collection point for essential items, such as toiletries and bedding.
A local building firm was also dropping off a large amount of sand for residents needing sandbags in Treorchy and Pentre.
Residents brought shovels and brushes to help clear away flood water and mud from one street in Treorchy.
Special walkways have been erected in York as the city braces itself for even more rain after the River Ouse burst its banks
A car is seen stranded amid floodwater several feet deep in York after the River Ouse bursts its banks during the storm
York city centre is pictured under water after the River Ouse burst its banks over the weekend, despite flood defences being in place
Another vehicle is pictured abandoned in flood water in York where defences are in place to prevent further storm damage
A schoolgirl was in her bedroom in Hanham, Bristol, when a tree came crashing through her window during Storm Dennis yesterday, she was treated for minor injuries and four people were evacuated from the block
Firefighters and the ambulance service were scrambled to a block of flats in Hanham, Bristol, when a tree was uprooted by gale-force winds and it smashed through a window
Army personnel were deployed over the weekend to assist people in parts of West Yorkshire which had already been badly hit by flooding during Storm Ciara.
Passengers stuck on Isle of Wight car ferry for 14 hours amid Storm Dennis
More than 100 passengers were stuck for 14 hours overnight on a car ferry as the boat was unable to leave dock due to Storm Dennis.
The sea was so choppy that the Red Funnel ferry could not make its 45 minute crossing from Southampton, Hants, to the Isle of Wight.
With Southampton to East Cowes boats from 7.30pm on Saturday night prevented from sailing, passengers instead spent more than 14 hours on board being looked after by ferry staff.
It finally began its journey across the Solent at 9.15am on Sunday.
The passengers finally arrived in East Cowes shortly after 10am on Sunday.
The Environment Agency said water levels on the River Ouse in York are set to peak on Tuesday afternoon, but at levels below those seen during the widespread flooding in the city in 2015 and 2000.
A spokesman said: ‘Our forecasts are currently showing the River Ouse in York will reach 4.8m on the morning of Tuesday February 18 and is likely to remain at or around this level for a couple of days afterwards.
‘At this level, we expect there may be further properties flooded in York.’
Many homes flooded in 2015 when the Foss Barrier – which stops floodwater from the River Ouse washing up the smaller River Foss – had to be left open when the mechanism was inundated.
The barrier, which has been closed for Storm Dennis, has been upgraded over the last five years.
City of York Council leader Keith Aspden said: ‘We’ve deployed over 4,000 sandbags across the city and over 200 one-tonne sandbags to help the residents in the most at-risk locations.
‘York is very much open for business and as we move into half-term week, we’re encouraging everyone to visit our fantastic city, which always has much to offer.’
The Ouse bursting its banks has also left the market town of St Ives in Cambridgeshire blighted by flood water.
Commuters were warned of mass disruption, with delays expected on roads, railways and ferries, while flights are also likely to suffer from last-minute cancellations.
Roads and railways were flooded on Sunday after torrential downpours and high winds caused by the second storm in just over a week.
Network Rail is currently assessing the repairs needed to reopen parts of the railway damaged by torrential downpours and strong winds over the weekend.
CrossCountry, Great Western Railway, Northern, South Western Railway, Southern, Thameslink and Transport for Wales were among the operators with delays and cancellations on Monday morning.
The water-damaged interior of a Mini car in Nantgarw, in south Wales. there are 54 flood warnings in Wales today, as police declared a major incident
Nantgarw, in south Wales, where residents are returning to their homes to survey and repair the damage in the aftermath of Storm Dennis
A fault with the signalling system in the Welwyn Garden City area also caused major disruption to services between Stevenage and London Kings Cross.
Surrey Police warned there would be ‘significant delays into the morning rush hour’ as two out of three lanes of the A3 southbound between the M25 and Ockham were closed due to flood water from an adjacent field spilling onto the carriageway.
West Mercia Police urged motorists not to drive through flooded roads, warning that water levels are ‘still high in many areas across Shropshire’.
RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis added: ‘Storm Dennis may have passed, but its impacts will be felt by drivers for some time yet.
‘Aside from the current road closures, with so many flood warnings still in force there is a very real risk more roads will be affected by flooding over the next few days.
‘It’s vital drivers take no risks – if they can’t be sure the water is shallow enough to safely drive through, turning around and finding another route is always the best option.’
Experts have warned that climate change is driving more heavy rainfall in winter storms and increasing the risk of flooding for which the UK is ‘clearly’ not ready.
Research has shown that the conditions in a previous winter storm, Desmond in 2015, which brought very heavy rain to parts of the UK and caused widespread flooding, were made 40 per cent more likely due to climate change.
In the wake of the latest storms, Dr Michael Byrne, lecturer in climate science at the University of St Andrews and research fellow at the University of Oxford, said more water in the atmosphere is ‘an entirely inevitable consequence of climate change’.
‘When you warm the planet, the atmosphere holds more water. In many parts of the world, including the UK, rising temperatures go hand in hand with more rain,’ he said.
He said the jury is still out on whether climate change will strengthen or weaken the high winds in storms such as Ciara and Dennis, but ‘when the storms come there will be more rain associated with them’.
‘These storms are nothing new, going back 100 years, but, because we are now more than 1C warmer as a whole versus pre-industrial times, every degree means 7 per cent more water in the atmosphere and more rain in these heavy rain events.
‘When they come, they bring more rain, 100 per cent for certain, because of climate change.’
If temperatures rise by 3C, which is what efforts to cut emissions already outlined by countries currently put the world on track for, storms could be bringing around 20 per cent more rain than they would without climate change.
‘It would put a huge strain on flood defences if that were to happen,’ said Dr Byrne.
Hannah Cloke, professor of hydrology at the University of Reading, said: ‘These types of events are most likely a taster of what is to come and we should be paying very close attention to that.’
And she warned: ‘Clearly, we are not ready for them. We’ve always seen these big floods but we do keep seeing these records being broken, it’s very concerning.’
She said more people are living in areas at risk, and there is a need to think about how the landscape is managed.
It is not just down to more hard flood defences, she said, urging: ‘We should be using the whole toolkit of things to prepare for floods.’
They include looking after soil so it can soak up water and does not run off the land to block watercourses, using uplands to catch water, diverting it on to fields upstream of settlements, and putting in ‘leaky dams’ made of wood in streams to slow the water’s flow down to the towns.
She also warned against building on flood plains, and said that, where it is absolutely necessary, better, joined-up planning is needed to protect homes from floods.