By Claire West
Heavy downpours threaten further flooding in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and parts of Wales through today and into Monday.
The Environment Agency deployed emergency teams across the country last night as flooding continues to hit communities. Four severe flood warnings were issued in Cornwall, covering 120 properties, after heavy rain overnight saw river levels rise rapidly.
Nearly 500 properties across the country have flooded since Wednesday, and the Environment Agency is warning communities across south west and central England to be prepared for further flooding today, overnight and into Monday.
The Met Office are also predicting that persistent, heavy rainfall in northern England on Monday also has the potential to cause significant disruption, with parts of Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and North Yorkshire tomorrow at the most significant flood risk.
Teams from the Environment Agency continue to work round the clock to ensure that flood defences are operating in the very challenging circumstances. Where necessary defences are being shored up and temporary barriers deployed. Teams are also monitoring river levels, clearing blockages from watercourses and pumping out flood water from towns.
The Environment Agency has sent warning to around 70,000 properties at risk of flooding and flood defences have protected 24,632 properties across England and Wales, including in Exeter, Bewdley and Upton on Severn.
Paul Mustow, Head of Flood Incident Management said: “Flooding has a devastating impact on peoples’ lives and our thoughts are with those that have been affected overnight and in the last few days.
“Our teams are continuing to work around the clock with local emergency services to keep communities safe and to ensure that flood defences operate effectively in what are very challenging circumstances.
We are expecting more flooding this afternoon and overnight, and we would urge people especially in south west, central, northern England and Wales to use the daylight hours to prepare.
People, should sign up for free flood warnings, keep up to date with the latest situation, and stay away from dangerous flood water.”
For the latest information:
Those in areas at risk should check the Environment Agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk/default.aspxfor or by calling the Environment Agency Flood Line on 0845 988 1188.