Flood alerts issued as Storm Francis batters the Midlands

The Environment Agency has issued flood alerts for large swathes of the Midlands today. Credit: The Environment Agency

Flood alerts have been issued for large parts of the Midlands as Storm Francis continues to batter the region.

The Environment Agency has issued 22 flood alerts across the country - meaning people should ‘be prepared’ for flooding.

The flood alerts have been put in place alongside wind warnings which were issued by the Met Office earlier this week.

They've since upgraded the wind warnings for some parts of the region from Yellow to Amber.

It now means "very strong winds are likely to bring disruption."

  • Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected - and some roads and bridges are likely to close.

  • Flying debris is likely, and could lead to injuries or danger to life.

  • Mobile phone networks may be affected, and power cuts are likely to occur.

An Amber wind warning is now in place across parts of the region until 10pm tonight.

This morning, flood alerts were issued by the Environment Agency following Francis' heavy rainfall:

  • River Tame - River levels have risen at the Water Orton gauge because of the persistent heavy rainfall. The Agency say flooding of roads and farmland is expected.

  • River Rea - River levels have also risen at the Selly Park gauge. The Agency say flooding is affecting low-lying land and roads along the river between Longbridge and Nechells.

  • River Stour and Smestow Brook - River levels are rising at the Stourbridge gauge too. The Environment Agency say their incident response staff are actively checking levels and clearing weed screens.

  • River Blithe and River Swarbourn - Flooding is also affecting low-lying land and roads adjacent to the River Blithe between Blythe Bridge and Nethertown and on the River Swarbourne between Hoar Cross and Yoxall. Teams are “closely monitoring the situation.”

  • River Sow and River Penk - Levels have also risen at the Stafford gauge meaning flooding is affecting areas adjacent to the River Sow between Great Bridgeford and Shugborough, the River Penk between Coven and Stafford, the Sandyford Brook, the Rising Brook, the Ridings Brook and the Saredon Brook. The Agency expect river levels to remain high until tomorrow (Wednesday 26th).

  • River Churnet and River Tean - River levels are forecast to rise at the Leek river gauge as a result of Francis' heavy rainfall. Flooding may affect areas next to the River Churnet between Leek and Rocester and the River Tean between Adderley and Spath including Cecilly Brook at Cheadle.

  • Stoke-on-Trent - Flooding is affecting areas adjacent to the River Trent between Norton Green and Darlaston including Stoke on Trent, Lyme Brook between Newcastle under Lyme and Hanford, Fowlea Brook at Stoke on Trent and Ford Green Brook. People are being urged to avoid low lying roads near the rivers, which may be flooded. They’re also being warned to avoid low-lying footpaths and bridges near local watercourses.

  • This was the scene in Wolverhampton this morning as a car got stuck in the Trescott Ford. A vehicle recovery service had to be called out. Footage from @AlistonBurkex / Twitter.

Power problems:

As Storm Francis continues to batter the Midlands, residents have reported power outages across the region.

Western Power Distribution, the electricity distributor for the Midlands, has confirmed there have been multiple outages this morning.

The firm say they're still working to restore supplies to certain areas - with some residents expected to be without power until later this afternoon.

Commuter chaos:

This morning, Francis' heavy rainfall caused disruption on some of the region’s main roads and motorways.

One lane was closed on the M6 Northbound because of flooding this morning - it caused disruption to motorists travelling between Cannock and Gailey.

Meanwhile, flooding near Junction 6 of the A45 Coventry Road meant a slip road on the M42 southbound had to be closed at the height of rush hour. 

50mph winds caused a tree to fall down in Highbury Vale in Bulwell, Nottingham just after 3pm. A car was driving in the same direction the tree fell. The people in the car were not seriously hurt.

Credit: Ashley Kirk

Staying safe:

Over in Leicestershire, emergency services have been asking people not to attempt crossing floodwater.

While people in the East Midlands were asked to 'take care' while out and about today.

ITV Central weather presenter Des Coleman issued the following advice for people in the region: 

He's also told people to "stay safe, protect yourself and your loved ones...and come Wednesday afternoon, we can bask in calmer conditions that will surround us all."

Click here to read Des' full blog warning about the impact of Storm Francis.

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