Almost 100 flood warnings in force as deluge batters England and Wales

Flooding in Stroud, in Gloucestershire. Credit: @gethjenks

Emergency services in England and Wales have been inundated with requests for help after heavy rain fell across the UK.

A yellow Met Office weather warning for rain stretched from East Anglia, across Leicester, parts of Birmingham and north London, and through to mid-Wales and Cornwall, and remained in place until 2am on Thursday.

The rainfall has been particularly bad in Norfolk, where a major incident has been declared after flash flooding and major travel disruption.

Firefighters in the county dealt with just under 300 incidents in the space of a six-hour period, ITV Anglia reports, and 48 fire engines were called out.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said they had handled more than 250 flood calls, with several properties inundated and multiple people rescued from their stranded vehicles.

Gloucestershire has also been badly affected, with major roads forced to close as a result of the flooding.

The A40 dual carriageway at Highnam in Gloucester was almost impassable on Wednesday night (Gloucestershire Police/PA

The Environment Agency had issued more than 90 flood warnings for England as of 5am on Thursday, including 16 warnings related to the River Severn on the Welsh border.

Other areas covered by flood warnings included part of the Great River Ouse and the Chediston watercourse in Suffolk.

Nine further flood warnings were issued by Natural Resources Wales.

Children’s playground equipment pokes out from floodwater surrounding Tewkesbury Abbey after heavy rain prior to Christmas Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

The Environment Agency also issued a further 149 flood alerts, which warn of possible flooding and urge preparedness.

Nottinghamshire Police said emergency services had been called to a report of a landslide near some homes near a former quarry at 11.40pm on Wednesday.

The force said a “small number” of properties have been evacuated, and police, fire and ambulance services, along with Mansfield District Council officials, were sent at the scene at Bank End Close in Mansfield to conduct safety assessments.

According to a Natural Resources Wales gauge, 60.4 mm of rain fell within 13 hours at the Trevethin reservoir in southern Wales on Wednesday.

44.6 mm of rain was also detected in Corby, Northamptonshire, in the same period according to Environment Agency figures.

The heavy rain caused disruption to travel, with many areas including Cardiff reporting surface water on the roads.

A flood warning sign at the entrance to a flooded car park beside Tewkesbury Abbey, where flood watches were in place Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Alex Burkill, a meteorologist for the Met Office, said: “There’s been a lot of wet weather around, we’ve had a heavy rain across much of England and Wales, particularly southern parts of Wales but also further east.

“Most places in England and Wales have been really wet and we’ve seen strengthening winds too, there have been some gales in exposed parts, so quite unpleasant really.”

Mr Burkill later said the rainfall would cease overnight into Christmas Eve.

He said: “The wet weather we’ve got over us at the moment that’s all going to clear away towards the south-east as we go through the night so for Christmas Eve we’re going to have lots of fine weather around, with lots of sunshine and a cold northerly flow.”