Flood warnings remain as UK emerges from wettest February on record

Flooding in East Cowick, Yorkshire Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

Hundreds of flood warnings and alerts remain in force across the UK, following the wettest February on record.

Though Sunday saw heavy rainfall ease off to make way for clearer conditions, further downpours are expected on Monday.

The UK has faced weeks of wet weather, starting with Storm Ciara and continuing with Storm Dennis and then Storm Jorge - all contributing to record river levels.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

Looking ahead to next week, the Environment Agency said emergency teams have repaired damaged flood barriers in parts of the West Midlands to prepare for high water levels on the River Severn.

It's expected the river could peak at between 5.4 and 5.7 metres on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, there were no reported evacuations in deluged towns in East Yorkshire for the first night since the flooding started.

Water levels are generally dropping or remaining stable in Snaith, Gowdall, East Cowick and West Cowick, but are expected to remain high for several days, East Riding of Yorkshire Council said.

A UK average of 202.1mm of rain fell last month, surpassing February 1990 when 193.4mm fell, according to the Met Office said.

Members of the fire brigade in boats wade through floodwater in Snaith, East Riding of Yorkshire. Credit: PA

Parts of Scotland and northern England saw blustery showers, strong winds and snow on Sunday morning, with brighter, chilly conditions in southern parts.

A yellow warning for snow over higher parts of Scotland is in place from 3pm until midnight, with travel disruption likely, warned the Met Office.

From midnight on Sunday, an ice warning is in force covering much of eastern and northern Scotland, Northern Ireland, north-west England and north Wales, lasting until 10am on Monday.

Local authorities will be faced with significant clean-up operations once flooding risks subside and water levels reduce.

In recent weeks, thousands of homes and businesses have been flooded as areas were deluged by more than a month’s worth of rainfall in just 24 hours.

Authorities said some 127,000 properties were protected by flood defences this winter.

Rescue workers in the flooded town of Snaith in East Yorkshire after the River Aire burst its banks. Credit: PA

Some 15 rivers in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Lancashire recorded their highest levels on record in the wake of the severe weather.

The Environment Agency warned the country needs to brace itself for "more frequent periods of extreme weather like this" because of climate change.

EA manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Dave Throup said the level of flooding leaves affected parts in "uncharted territory".

Meanwhile the Government has said it is investing £2.6 billion in flood defences by 2021.

Flooding remains a possibility in parts of the UK on Monday with more wet weather forecast.

A total of 85 flood warnings were in place across England and Wales, mostly in the South West and along the English-Welsh border, and in Yorkshire, while a further 173 "flooding is possible" alerts are also in force.

It represented a reduction of five flood warnings and a reduction of 42 alerts since Saturday evening.

Flooding in Bewdley, Worcestershire, at the end of February as the River Severn remains high. Credit: PA

Towns including Ironbridge and Bewdley along the River Severn in the West Midlands, and West Cowick and Lidgate in East Yorkshire, along the River Aire, are among the worst-hit areas in England.

More than 3,300 properties in England are thought to have been flooded as a result of the combined effects of storms Ciara and Dennis, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs said.

On Tuesday, Welsh Government minister Lesley Griffiths said local authorities in Wales had confirmed more than 1,000 homes had flooded, with reports of more than 300 businesses also affected over the previous two weeks.