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Flood warnings issued as heavy rain and 60 mph wind expected in parts of UK

The Met Office also urged people travelling on Wednesday night to ‘take extra time to make the journey a safe one’ amid strong, gusty winds.

12 January 2023

Heavy rain could swamp some homes and businesses and winds of up to 60 mph are expected in parts of the UK on Wednesday night and Thursday, forecasters have warned.

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for rain from 9pm on Wednesday until 5pm on Thursday across much of South West England and Wales, and Herefordshire and Shropshire.

It said some higher ground areas may get 70-90 mm or more of rain, and that downpours could flood properties and cause power cuts.

Heavy rain could also cause delays or cancellations on public transport, and spray and flooding could lead to treacherous driving conditions and road closures, the forecaster added.

It warned that “very strong west or southwest winds are expected, producing gusts to 45 mph inland and 60 mph along some coasts and across high ground, with the peak in the winds most likely on Wednesday night”.

The Met Office urged people travelling on Wednesday night to “take a little extra time to make the journey a safe one” amid the “strong, gusty winds”.

Some communities may also be “cut off by flooded roads,” it added.

It comes as aerial photos on Wednesday showed heavy rain had left areas around Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, submerged in flood water.

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: “With all that wet weather coming in, there are concerns, particularly for those areas that have already seen so much rain across western England and Wales.

“The wettest weather is likely to see 60-80 mm falling across the Brecon Beacons and Exmoor.”

Winter weather Jan 11th 2023
A van stuck in flood waters near Tewkesbury Abbey (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Environment Agency has issued 35 flood warnings and 114 flood alerts for areas across England where flooding is expected or possible.

Natural Resources Wales has issued eight flooding warnings, along parts of The River Severn, River Vyrnwy and River Teme, and 38 flood alerts.

It comes after Newport City Council closed a footpath on Wednesday after part of it “collapsed into the River Ebbw”.

On Wednesday, Mark Garratt, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Continued heavy rainfall across England means that minor localised surface water and river flooding is probable in parts of the Midlands and the South West of England today, with impacts potentially continuing throughout the week.

“With the ground already saturated, communities in these areas should check their flood risk.

“The Environment Agency is monitoring flood levels, operating flood gates and barriers at locations across the country, and ensuring debris screens are clear from blockages to ensure communities are better protected.

“We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and urge people not to drive through flood water as just 30 cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.”

The Met Office said further persistent rain will move in on Friday night and into Saturday, with the heaviest rain likely to be further north, including north Wales, northern England and Scotland.

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