'Month's worth of rain' expected in parts of UK in next 24 hours

Storm Dennis may have gone but further agony is in store for beleaguered communities across flood-hit Britain - with forecasters predicting a month's worth of rain in the next 24 hours in some places.

Those already battling with the aftermath of several days worth of rain have been told to expect even more, with pockets of North Wales, northern England and Scotland among those in line for further deluges.

The Environment Agency (EA) warned there is a "heightened flood risk" across the Midlands, while there are six severe flood warnings - meaning a danger to life - in place around the Rivers Lugg, Severn and Wye.

The lower Avon also remains especially high.

As of Wednesday afternoon, flood warnings remain for 120 places, with a further 150 lower category alerts also present.

It comes as more than 1,000 homes and businesses have been affected by the floods in the aftermath of Storm Dennis.

Parts of the country are said to be in "uncharted territory" after record levels of flooding, as severe flood warnings remain in place.

  • ITV News Correspondent Stacey Foster sums up the mood in Bewdley, Worcestershire:

But forecasters have predicted further heavy rainfall is on its way, three days after Storm Dennis left the UK for Scandinavia.

Craig Snell, from the Met Office, said: "Hot on the heels of Storm Dennis, we have now got this next weather system coming through.

"We have a cluster of warnings around the UK running today into tomorrow.

"Rainfall totals are not too high at the moment. But if we are looking at the situation in 24 hours' time, we could be looking at 50-60mm in South Wales, 70-100mm in North Wales, and up to 100mm in north west England.

"In the worst case scenario we could see a month's worth of rain.

"It is more the fact that quite a lot of the UK has seen a wet winter. Ordinarily, 50mm of rain would give us a wet day, rivers would be able to cope.

"But the ground is saturated (due to the persistent, heavy rainfall) so it is causing problems."

The rain will then move north, with Cumbria and Yorkshire likely to be most affected by the weekend.

A mobile phone damaged from flooding in Oxford street, Nantgarw, in south Wales. Credit: PA

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for persistent rain in Wales and north-west England for Wednesday and Thursday, and the north of England on Friday into Saturday.

The EA said England had already received 141% of its average February rainfall so far this month.

River levels in the Colne, Ribble, Calder, Aire, Trent, Severn, Wye, Lugg, and Derwent all set new records in recent days, the EA said.

The EA said its teams put up more than 6km of temporary flood barriers across the country and that flood defences have protected nearly 25,000 properties from the ongoing impacts of Storm Dennis.

The Riverside Caravan Park Houses surrounded by flood water in in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. Credit: PA

But record-breaking river levels and continued rainfall means further flooding is possible across much of the country, said EA executive director of flood and coastal risk management John Curtin.

"We expect further disruptive weather into tomorrow and Thursday, bringing a significant flood risk to the West Midlands, and there are flood warnings in place across much of England," he said.

Pumps are ready to be used by Environment Agency staff in Currymoor.

On Wednesday, residents in the Shropshire towns of Ironbridge and Bridgnorth were among those urged to evacuate their properties, while residents in Bewdley near Kidderminster were warned flood barriers at Beales Corner might not be able to withstand the rising water levels.

Residents in the Shropshire towns of Ironbridge and Bridgnorth were urged to evacuate their properties, while residents in Bewdley near Kidderminster were warned flood barriers at Beales Corner might not be able to withstand the rising water levels.

On one of the flooded roads on the outskirts of Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, a man in green waders, unperturbed by the high water, was heading into town on foot with an empty shopping bag.

The man - who declined to give his name - said he was off into Upton to "have a pint" and get some bread and milk.

He added that the 2007 floods had been worse, estimating the water levels had been 1ft (0.3m) higher.

A woman is lifted to safety by rescue workers in Whitchurch in Herefordshire Credit: PA

Storm Dennis claimed the life of Yvonne Booth, from the Great Barr area of Birmingham, who was swept away by floodwater near Tenbury in Worcestershire on Sunday.

Over the weekend, the River Taff in Pontypridd reached its highest level in more than 40 years and the River Usk reached the highest level since 1979.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced criticism from the Labour Party for not visiting communities affected by flooding.

Nearby residents making their way towards Lidl in a canoe in Monmouth, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis. Credit: PA