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  1. ITV Report

Weather warnings bring more misery to West Midlands as Storm Jorge to sweep in this weekend

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Stacey Foster

Residents in flood-hit communities are facing more wet weather as Storm Jorge is expected to sweep across the UK this weekend.

Before the latest storm hits the UK, yellow weather warnings of snow and ice have been issued for much of the Midlands including the River Severn in Shropshire, where flood defences buckled under the pressure of water.

Heavy snow blanketed parts of Northumberland on Thursday, while residents in Ironbridge were told to evacuate with further heavy rain forecasted.

West Mercia Police said they were "waiting to see what happens overnight", as officers continued to tell people in the Wharfage to leave their homes and businesses.

Deputy Chief Constable Julian Moss said: “We are waiting to see what happens overnight and we are monitoring closely with colleagues at the Environment Agency, and an operational plan is in place with Shropshire Fire and Rescue should it be required.”

A "swathe of wet weather" from the South West is due to push in overnight and into rush hour on Thursday, when two yellow weather warnings of snow have been issued by the Met Office.

Flood defences in Ironbridge have already been breached. Credit: PA

Meteorologist Alex Burkill said: “It’s not just the snow, there’s going to be a fair bit of rainfall mixed in with it.

"It’s not going to be large amounts, between 10-15mm of rain in some places, but it could be falling on heavily saturated areas."

Floodwaters in Ironbridge have receded by half a metre below its recent peak, with the tops of the riverside railings now visible.

A crashed car in Allenheads, Northumberland. Credit: PA

Temporary flood defences had been pushed back towards a pub and other businesses, sparking fears that the defences could be fully breached.

Residents in the Worcestershire town of Bewdley were forced to evacuate earlier after the river spilled over barriers at Beales Corner.

An aerial view of the village of Allenheads in Northumberland. Credit: PA

This weekend, Storm Jorge is expected to bring more heavy rain and strong winds to flood-hit communities.

Winds of up to 70mph are forecast across much of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, while up to 80mm of rain is expected in Wales and northern England.

A severe "danger to life" flood warning covering the river at the Wharfage in Ironbridge, Shropshire, remains in place on Thursday, while 82 flood warnings and 125 flood alerts had been issued.

The Met Office's chief meteorologist Paul Gundersen said further flooding is also possible with rain forecast to fall on already saturated ground.

Flooding in Snaith, East Riding of Yorkshire, where locals have criticised the lack of help they have received from the authorities. Credit: PA

Storm Jorge, which was named by Spanish meteorological services, is forecast to track across the North West of the UK before clearing on Saturday afternoon.

The Republic of Ireland is expected to face the strongest and most damaging winds, Mr Gunderson said.

The Met Office said the storm will be followed by snow over the hills and mountains in the north of the UK and rail and hail in the south, with winds easing slightly on Sunday.

Yellow weather warnings for rain are in place for the North West and South West of England, parts of Wales and Northern Ireland between midday on Friday and 9am on Saturday.

The Met Office has also issued a yellow wind warning for a 24-hour period from midday on Saturday covering most of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and south-west Scotland.

England has received over 200% of its average February rainfall, according to the Environment Agency, with some areas experiencing a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours.

Toby Willison, executive director of operations at the Environment Agency, said: “Our operational teams continue to work night and day to protect communities alongside the River Severn, which is experiencing record levels.

“River levels will remain exceptionally high on the Severn for some time and communities, in particular Shrewsbury, Bewdley, Bridgnorth and Ironbridge, should prepare for potentially ongoing severe flooding.”

As the Environment Agency said that flooding is expected to continue into the weekend across parts of England, Boris Johnson was criticised by Jeremy Corbyn over his “silent” response to flooding across the country.

The multi-agency response is expected to continue for the next 10 days. Credit: PA

On Thursday, Mr Johnson refused to rule out whether he would visit any areas where people had been made homeless by the recent floods on Thursday.

Instead, he focused on how the "massive issue" of flooding "presents an opportunity" for job creation.

He said: "There's a massive issue about flood defences, and we have put £2.6 billion in and we will be investing another £4 billion."

But the Prime Minister said he was “proud” of the response by ministers following the recent storms and defended the Government’s investment in flood defences.

The River Severn has overcome flood defences in Bewdley. Credit: PA

Operational teams have put up more than 6km of temporary flood barriers across the country and flood defences have protected more than 34,184 properties over the last week.

In East Yorkshire, residents were being evacuated from the village of East Cowick after the River Aire broke its banks.

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East Riding of Yorkshire Council said in a statement its staff along with teams from the Coastguard and Humberside Fire & Rescue were going to door-to-door in the village, where sandbags have been deployed to protect around 60 properties.

East Cowick was the council’s “main area of concern” but it had also arranged sandbags to protect 100 properties in Snaith, where residents were advised to evacuate from their homes on Wednesday afternoon as water from the Aire and surrounding washlands continued to rise.

Flood warnings remain in place in the Snaith area, where locals have criticised the lack of help they have received from the authorities.

Snaith Priory Church has been opened as a rest centre due to the flooding, providing food, drinks and beds.