14th March 2020

Environment Storm Dennis: Flooding ‘is going to get worse’

Environment Storm Dennis: Flooding ‘is going to get worse’


environment Flooded fields in Hereford, in the aftermath of Storm DennisImage copyright
PA Media

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Flooded fields in Hereford in the aftermath of Storm Dennis

Flooding in the wake of Storm Dennis is “not normal” and “going to get worse”, an Environment Agency boss has warned.

Dave Throup said the floods were “getting scary” and warned people must “adapt and respond”.

The area he manages – Herefordshire and Worcestershire – was deluged by rain over the weekend.

Mr Throup, who has worked for the agency for 20 years, said on Twitter he was “so sorry” to those whose lives had been “turned upside down” by the storm.

Nearly 100 flood warnings remain across the UK, five of them severe in England, meaning there is a danger to life.

Parts of north-west England experienced more than a month’s worth of rain in the last 24 hours. Two areas in Cumbria, Seathwaite and Honister Pass, recorded more rain than the county’s February average of 112mm.

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Passengers get a ride on the back of a Fire and Rescue 4×4 vehicle near Hereford

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Getty Images

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A severe flood warning remains in place in Upton upon Severn

In a tweet, Mr Throup said what he had seen over the past few days “isn’t normal”.

He was responding to figures that the River Wye flooding was more than half a metre higher than anything for 110 years, and two of the biggest five floods ever recorded have happened in the past four months.

“It’s getting scary folks,” he said.

The agency said there was a “heightened flood risk” in the Midlands with five severe warnings – meaning there is a danger to life – still in place near the Welsh border around the rivers Lugg, Severn and Wye.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in the worst-affected areas, which include south Wales, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

Since Storm Dennis reached the UK on 15 February, the Environment Agency has reported new river level records being set on the Colne, Ribble, Calder, Aire, Trent, Severn, Wye, Lugg, and Derwent.

The rivers are measured by the agency’s network of monitoring stations across the country.

For the River Wye, the new record of 6.99m was captured at the Bredwardine monitoring station in Herefordshire. For this area the Environment Agency says any levels above 3.80m could result in minor flooding.

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