UK & World News

  • 26 January 2014, 20:38

Weather: Floods In South As Snow Falls In North

Communities across southern England have been told to prepare for possible flooding, as snow falls across parts of the North.

Some 11 flood warnings are in place for parts of the South East and South West, with the Environment Agency telling people in affected areas to take immediate action.

The Somerset Levels, which run south from the Mendip Hills to the Blackdown Hills, are particularly vulnerable, as further heavy rain falls on already saturated ground.

There is also potential for further river flooding across the South West and southern counties including parts of Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex, West Berkshire and Surrey into next week.

The Environment Agency is running more than 60 pumps around the clock to drain an estimated 65 million cubic metres of floodwater from the Levels.

A temporary pontoon has been erected near the village of Langport to allow residents to get to their homes and a boat service is ferrying people to and from work and school.

John Osman, of Somerset County Council, which has declared a "major incident", said: "There's no let up in the rain coming down. The water levels on the moorlands are rising. We are getting towards breaking point."

As well as the flood alerts, a Met Office severe weather warning for ice is in place across most of the UK, while parts of Scotland have been told to brace for strong winds gusting up to 80mph.

Up to 20cm of snow is forecast to fall over higher ground overnight and on Monday.

It follows lighter flurries in parts of northern England, including in Cumbria, where snow ploughs were used to clear sections of the A66.

Meanwhile, strong winds on Saturday blew bricks and tiles off the roofs of houses and forced residents to be evacuated in a street in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

A "mini tornado" was reported in parts of the Midlands and southern Britain, where trees were brought down, power supplies knocked out and outbuildings damaged.

Sky News weather presenter Jo Wheeler said: "Today's rain may exacerbate the problems in the South West but is unlikely to have much impact away from already flooded areas.

"This week, there may be some small improvements, in so much as there is no further prolonged heavy rain expected before next weekend, but showers will continue."

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