Snow and lightning warnings as severe flooding risks remain

The Met Office yellow warning for snow and lightning is in place until 8pm on Thursday.

23 February 2022

Parts of the UK face heavy snow, strong winds and lightning strikes, while a severe flood warning is still in place meaning there is a danger to life.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for snow and lightning for much of Scotland and Northern Ireland, with forecasters expecting heavy snow showers, very gusty winds and a chance of frequent lightning.

The warning is in place until 8pm on Thursday and forecasters say on higher ground some places could see 10-20cm of snow building up by Thursday morning.

Strong, blustery winds are also expected with gusts of 45-55mph possible, increasing to 65mph on coasts.

Later on Thursday morning and early afternoon, forecasters expect snow showers to turn back to rain and sleet at low levels.

Meanwhile, in Bewdley, Worcestershire, search and rescue crews were out checking properties and speaking to residents on Wednesday after temporary flood defences were breached following heavy rainfall on Tuesday afternoon.

The River Severn peaked in the town on Wednesday afternoon but levels are expected to remain high for a prolonged period and a severe flood warning, meaning a danger to life, is still in place.

The Environment Agency said severe flooding is expected to continue.

Winter weather Feb 23rd 2022
Search and rescue teams check on residents in Bewdley, where floodwater from the River Severn has breached the town’s flood defences (Joe Giddens/PA)

The last week has seen storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin cause problems across the country and about 400 properties have been flooded.

Nick Green, area incident manager for the Environment Agency for the West Midlands, said it had been “incredibly frightening” for the community in Bewdley.

He said: “We could really see the anxiety and the worry that they had knowing that the river was going to rise and the impact that it could have on their lives.”

This is the fourth year in a row the town has flooded, with temporary flood defences also failing during Storm Christoph last January.

Mr Green said plans for permanent flood defences at Beales Corner in the town were under way.

He said: “We want to futureproof this system so the community behind at Beales Corner here in Bewdley has got the confidence going forward that they can live here free of any impact from the River Severn that flows through their neighbourhood.”

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

As of Wednesday night the Environment Agency also had 50 flood warnings and 41 flood alerts in place.

A severe flood warning in Ironbridge, Shropshire, was lifted.

Met Office spokesman Richard Miles said: “For the areas experiencing flood impacts, that will stay the case for the next couple of days but there aren’t any additional impacts expected outside those areas.

“There will be rain across central and southern areas on Thursday so we will be seeing wet weather but not huge amounts of additional rain.”

He said there was nothing in the forecast for the next four to five days to suggest the UK could see another named storm but forecasters would be looking to see what was developing over the Atlantic.

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