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Flash floods warning issued as downpours continue

Category: England

Published: 29th Apr 2012 01:15:04

The Environment Agency is warning of flash floods, with downpours forecast for much of England and Wales over the weekend and next week.

The Environment Agency has warned of possible localised flooding in the South West, South East and Midlands, East of England and Wales on Sunday.

Between 40mm and 60mm of rain is forecast for east Wales.

The Met Office issued a "be prepared" warning for Wales and much of south, central and eastern England.

Many of the areas at risk of floods are currently in a state of drought following two unusually dry winters in a row.

BBC weather forecaster Chris Fawkes said: "The concern for Sunday is the rainfall due over the West Midlands, parts of Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

"And the rain may mean flooding around the River Severn and its tributaries.

"It's also going to be very windy, with gusts of up to 60mph in the Pennines, Wales and South West England, which could mean some trees and branches come down.

"Some exposed and coastal parts of those areas could even get up to 70mph, meaning quite dangerous conditions for hill walks in Pennines, for example."

He said that next week Scotland and Northern Ireland would be mainly dry, but that more rainfall was forecast for England and Wales.

The weekend downpours come at the end of a wet week for England and Wales, in which 42mm (1.7in) of rain fell in the South East and 55mm (2.2in) in the South West, which has now had 166% of the average rainfall for April.

Among those areas experiencing flooding were parts of York, where the River Ouse flooded footpaths following torrential rain on Thursday.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "The Environment Agency is closely monitoring the forecast and rainfall particularly in Worcestershire, as the river levels are already higher than normal in the rivers Severn, Teme and Avon.

"Environment Agency officers are out monitoring river levels, checking defences and clearing any potential blockages, such as fallen branches and debris, to reduce the risk of flooding.

The Environment Agency said all regions had now received above average rainfall for April, boosting river levels and providing relief for farmers, gardeners and wildlife in drought areas.

But it also said that groundwater levels remained low and the rain was not yet making a difference to the drought conditions.

Soil affected by prolonged dry weather increases the risk of flash floods because heavy rain quickly runs off hard, compacted ground.

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BBC News, 2012. Flash floods warning issued as downpours continue [Online] (Updated 29th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1425276/Flash-floods-warning-issued-as-downpours-continue [Accessed 3rd Sep 2014]

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