Farming News - Environment Agency urges extra vigilance as Storm Christoph brings threat of severe weather

Environment Agency urges extra vigilance as Storm Christoph brings threat of severe weather

18 Jan 2021
Frontdesk / Arable / Livestock
Parts of northern, central and eastern England are being urged to prepare for the risk of significant flooding in some areas from early Tuesday morning, the Environment Agency has said. The public should sign up to flood warnings and check the latest safety advice as heavy downpours are likely to fall on saturated ground, making the flood risk significant.
 
The Environment Agency is already working with partners across the country to reduce the flood risk brought on by the severe weather conditions. Extensive preparations are being made to operate flood defences, flood storage reservoirs and to put up temporary barriers where needed to help protect communities ahead of the incoming weather.
 
Previous rainfall and snowmelt means catchments are already very wet, river levels remain high and further heavy rain could affect parts of Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire.
 
As of 2pm on 18 January there are 11 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected, and 61 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible. However, it is expected for this number to increase significantly as rain falls overnight.
 
Katharine Smith Flood Duty Office at the Environment Agency said: “Heavy and persistent rain falling on already saturated ground with snowmelt in parts of northern, central and eastern England is expected to bring significant river and surface water flooding and could cause damage to buildings in some communities.

“Flooding could continue to affect parts of central, eastern and northern England into Friday, with localised flooding of land and roads a possibility elsewhere across much of country on Wednesday and Thursday.
 
“Environment Agency teams are out on the ground clearing grilles, screens and closing flood barriers. We urge people to keep away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water – it is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.
 
“People should check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at via Gov.uk or follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates.” 
 
Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Dan Suri, said:“A low pressure system bringing severe weather to the UK this week has been named Storm Christoph. A number of severe weather warnings have been issued, with an Amber warning for rain running from Tuesday morning to mid-day Thursday covering a large swathe of northern England and parts of the east Midlands. The rain will be heaviest on the western side of higher ground with over 100 mm of rain expected quite widely and potentially  up to 200 mm possible in isolated, exposed areas.
 
“These rainfall totals, combined with melting snow across the hills, present a real threat of flooding. As well as heavy rain, strong winds and the potential for snow and ice will add to the unsettled, blustery feel to the weather especially in higher and more exposed locations. Keep up to date with the weather forecast for your area via the Met Office app or website.”
 
Evacuating people from their homes is a multi-agency decision where all risks are considered. At present there are no plans to evacuate any communities, however preparations for evacuations and to create Covid-secure rest centres will have been made by the relevant agencies as a precautionary measure. We would urge anyone advised to evacuate to follow the advice of the emergency services at the time.