High winds and tides bring an increased risk of coastal flooding along coastal areas of England this weekend, the Environment Agency warned yesterday.
Areas at risk on Saturday and Sunday include coasts and tidal areas of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire as gales and big waves combine to cause possible overtopping of flood defences and sea walls, property flooding and travel disruption.
Additionally parts of south-east England and Gloucestershire, north-west and the Yorkshire and Hull coast will also be affected by the wind, rain and high tides from Friday through to Sunday.
At the same time the risk of river flooding continues as with the ground already saturated, rivers are very responsive to rainfall. Groundwater levels also remain high in southern counties.
Flood barriers in place
Flood barriers have been put up at Frankwell in Shrewsbury to protect against a rise in levels on the River Severn after two inches (5cms) of rain fell in Shropshire on Tuesday.
Elsewhere on the Severn, temporary defences will be erected at Bewdley, and potentially Ironbridge.
On the Somerset Levels Environment Agency teams continue to operate up to 62 pumps, 24-hours a day, to drain an estimated 1.5 million tonnes of water off an area of the Levels spanning 65 square kilometres – the biggest pumping operation ever undertaken in the county.
Currently, around 40 properties have flooded on the Levels, while defences have protected over 3,500 properties and 200 square kilometres of land within the Parrett and Tone, and Brue and Axe catchments.
As of 15.15 on Thursday there are 35 flood warnings and 157 flood alerts in place across England and Wales. A flood warning means that flooding of property is expected and that people should take action to prepare. A flood alert means flooding is possible so be prepared.
People urged to check warnings
Kate Marks, Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager, said:
“A low pressure system combining with high tides brings a risk of coastal flooding to many parts of England later this week and over the weekend. The risk is highest for south west England and the public should stay away from the coasts and tidal areas and not drive through flood water.
“At the same time the risk of river flooding continues for the southern counties as with the ground already saturated, rivers are very responsive to rainfall. Groundwater levels also remain high in southern counties.
“On the Somerset Levels 40 properties have flooded and Environment Agency teams continue to operate up to 62 pumps, 24-hours a day, to drain an estimated 1.5 million tonnes of water.”
Press Release, January 31, 2014