Published: Tue, February 18, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Storm Dennis lashes United Kingdom, causes severe flooding in Wales

Storm Dennis lashes United Kingdom, causes severe flooding in Wales

Heavy rain over the weekend caused flooding which blocked a number of roads and rail lines.

Environment Secretary George Eustice, visiting York, said the government had done "everything that we can do with a significant sum of money" to combat increased flooding.

Britain's environment secretary said climate change was making extreme weather events more common.

Pedestrians try to avoid a puddle as they walk down Oxford Street during Storm Dennis in London.

A fifth severe warning, which mean there is a "danger to life", is in place for the River Wye at Blackmarstone in Hereford.

John Curtin, the EA's executive director of flood and coastal risk management, tweeted that, despite the heaviest rain passing, there is still "a live incident as water makes its way through the bigger rivers", with Hereford being "of most concern".

But he added: "There is always more that can be done".

A "life-threatening" alert was earlier issued in South Wales, where the Met Office issued a rare red warning due to heavy rainfall and flooding risk.

Network Rail is assessing the repairs needed to reopen parts of the railway damaged by torrential downpours and strong winds over the weekend. According to reports Monday, police and firefighters worked to rescue people trapped in their cars after the storm brought 90 mile-per-hour winds and as much as six inches of rain to some areas.

But the government was criticised for its response to the extreme weather, including a Tory MP telling it to "pull its finger out".

Winter weather Feb 17th 2020
Rachel Cox inspects flood damage to her kitchen in Nantgarw South Wales

Jeanette Cox, 68 and her daughter Rachel woke up to the sound of water in their property in the Welsh village of Nantgarw, close to Cardiff, at about four a.m. nearby time Sunday.

In southwestern Norway, more than half a dozen roads and several mountain passes were closed as the storm brought in snow and high winds.

"What has been done to stop it happening again?"

In a timely announcement the Met Office, Britain's national weather service, said on Monday it would invest $1.6 billion in a state-of-the-art supercomputer to improve forecasting.

The Met Office said the highest wind gust recorded was 146km/h at Aberdaron in North Wales on Saturday.

Counties Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork had been expected to have the warning lifted at around 10pm last night but experienced Status Yellow winds until 3am today.

"Whilst there is more uncertainty over the rainfall totals for south Wales, there is a small chance that 50-60 mm could fall here in 24 hours".

Severe flood warning were issued for the Scottish Borders and for the River Neath in South Wales, while local media reported the River Taff had burst its banks at Pontypool.

South Wales Police declared a "major incident" following multiple floods, landslides and evacuations.

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