Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Flooding continues to threaten hundreds of homes

Source : BBC News
An emergency centre has been set up at a leisure centre in St Asaph.

About 200 flood warnings are in force in England and Wales and there are two for the Scottish Borders region.

Heavy rain has fallen in northern England and north Wales but the wet conditions are set to ease.

However, there are fears saturated ground could lead to further flooding and travel disruption.

Inspector Mark Davies from North Wales Police said the flooding in the area was also affecting the villages of Llanfairtalhaiarn, Llangernyw and Llansannan nearby.

"The Environment Agency tell us water levels are rising and getting worse," he said.

"We haven't had any reports of people in severe difficulty but it has been distressing for people flooded in their own homes."

In North Yorkshire, more than 50 houses in Pickering are currently under threat from rising water levels.

And in Cornwall, the A39 at Perranarworthal is closed in both directions because of flooding and a poor road surface.

Flooding is also continuing to cause delays on routes including between Durham and York, and between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Newcastle.

The latest Environment Agency data shows 940 homes have suffered flooding since last Wednesday.

Holly Green, of the BBC's Weather Centre, said that while conditions were easing on Tuesday morning, there had been a few hours of persistent rainfall.

She said the rain on Tuesday would tend to become more showery in nature and it was an improving picture.

However, warnings remained in force for the first part of Tuesday morning as showers fell on already saturated surfaces.

Fairly heavy showers in some southern counties early on Tuesday brought a risk of some localised problems, she added.

The Environment Agency, which has issued 209 flood warnings - up from 185 on Monday night - says the flood risk across the UK "remains elevated".

There are also 277 less severe flood alerts - indicating people should prepare for possible flooding.

The agency warned that "large, slow responding rivers" - particularly the Thames, Trent and Severn - would continue to rise over the next few days.

It said the risk of groundwater flooding - when levels of water in the ground rise above surface levels - was high in some parts of the country, "notably Dorset".

'Further flooding is expected in the next 24 hours and communities across north-east England, north Wales and Northamptonshire are urged to remain especially vigilant," Paul Mustow, head of its flood incident management, said.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Sepa, has two flood warnings in place - meaning flooding is expected and immediate action is required - from Camptown to Jedburgh, and from Greenlaw to Allanton.

There are also two flood alerts - meaning flooding is possible - in both the Borders and the Edinburgh and Lothians regions.

There are none in Northern Ireland.

On Monday, closures, delays and safety warnings affected dozens of A-roads, while cancellations and delays also hit some national rail services.

South-west England, where hundreds of homes were flooded at the weekend, was among a number of areas suffering considerable disruption to rail services on Monday.

On the roads, some of the worst-hit areas on Monday were in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

The flooding of hundreds of homes comes at a "crisis point" in talks between insurance companies and the government about flood cover.

An existing agreement, reached in 2008 but set to end in June 2013, obliges insurers to provide cover for high-risk properties while the government continues to improve flood defences.


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