UK & World News
What Drought? Warnings Of Gales And Floods
Drought-affected areas already lashed by torrential rainfall in recent weeks are being told to brace for gales and more downpours that could trigger flash flooding.
England and Wales have experienced the wettest week since December and forecasters are seeing no sign of the rain letting up.
Strong winds and heavy downpours are expected to hit on Saturday night, with up to 40mm (1.57in) of rain forecast to fall in some drought-afflicted areas.
There is also a risk of falling trees and difficult driving conditions, with gusts of up to 50mph expected.
And forecasters say there will be no respite in the early part of next week.
Sky News weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar said: "Latest models are indicating further heavy and thundery showers across the far south of England and Wales on Monday."
Supermarkets have reported soaring sales of wellies and umbrellas in the face of the deluge.
The Environment Agency has warned of the possibility of localised flooding across parts of the South West, South East and Midlands, East of England and Wales on Sunday as the wet weather moves in.
Many of the areas at risk of floods are currently in a state of drought, which is gripping the South East, East Anglia, the Midlands, the South West and south and east Yorkshire after two unusually dry winters in a row.
In its latest weekly drought briefing, the Environment Agency said all regions had now received above average rainfall for April, boosting river levels and providing relief for farmers, gardeners and wildlife in drought areas.
But groundwater levels remained low and the rain was not yet making a difference to the drought conditions, the agency warned.
And the risk of flash floods is increased as heavy rain quickly runs off ground left hard and compacted by previous arid spells.
Nine flood warnings are in place for the North East, with properties at risk from rising water levels in a number of rivers including the Ouse in York.
Householders are being urged to take action to protect their homes.
Another band of rain looks set to hit the country on Tuesday.
The latest downpours come at the end of a particularly wet week for England and Wales, in which 42mm (1.7in) of rain fell in the South East and 55mm (2.2in) in the South West, which has now had 166% of the average rainfall for April.
More than two dozen properties were flooded in St Helen Auckland, Co Durham, on Thursday, while there were localised floods in Devon and Cornwall earlier in the week.
But the rain is unlikely to help shift the hosepipe bans imposed by seven water companies across southern and eastern England.
The Environment Agency has suggested householders buy water butts this weekend to capture rainfall which can be used to water gardens if dry weather returns.
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what do you think?
How about the Environment Agency building some more reservoirs or investing in an infrastructure where water can be moved from region to region. I wonder where all the rainfall we have had has now ended up. Back out to sea I suppose! Nice that they can tell us to spend our money on buying water butts yet they still cant stop water leaking out of their pipes.
I could not have put it better myself Paul.
I know a Guy who works for the environment agency.he says its the easiest job in the world driving round in a £40,000 land Rover making sure waters flowing and that flood gates are working
Robert, obviously they have their priorities all wrong. Maybe they should have spent the money on somebody to fix the leaks. I wonder how many plumbers they employ!
well said paul want a new job running our water company seems you have more sence than all doing now
Below is a link to a BBC story of 2005 stating that Thames Water in London, was wasting so much water through leakages that it would leave the South East short of Water within 10 years, guess Thames Water don't watch the BBC! <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4330721.stm" rel='nofollow'>http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4330721.stm</a>
surely its simple cant we build reservoirs closer to our man rivers and pump water from them in times like this rather than let millions of gallons of good water just running into the sea . I just wonder why we have 10 billion pounds to prop up the eu but cant find money to build extra water storage i dont care about the eu what i do worry about is out taps running dry lets sort our own problems first before worrying about the others who seem unable to sort out the problems they seem to make for them selfs
Brian E Gorton
You can not have land for reservois.It is required for more housing.
Then do what they have done in London and dig a massive underground ring main. Blimey it doesn't take a lot of joined up thinking does it. Problem in London is there's no water to put in it!
So build more houses, accept more people living here, people living longer all of which require more water but don't do anything with the dilapidated infrastructure and the water shortages will get worse and more frequent and so the vicious circle continues.
if we run out of water we all die, so sod the houses stop the rise in population before its to late.
Sadly in this democracy that does not allow us to have a say, we have no money or the political will to invest in our infastructure, build new reservoirs or new pipework, because we give billions away to other countries and spend billions looking after people from other countries. Until then, lets get flooded and live with a drought.
So so true
If dry weather returns? Is there the possilbility it wont ever then?
so all this water falls on hard ground and disapeares no i dont think so so now tell us when you are going to put up the bills again you are greedy and all you want to do is keep your shareholders happy us meanialls dont matter
Thay are giving us crap again. Thay say that the ground is so hard that the water cant soak in so what is haperning to the billion gallons a day that leaks in London Thay also say that when it is warm half the rainfall evaporates well when it dose it forms clouds and rains again it never go's away it just go's around in circles.
No petrol no water mmmmmm
mrspike007- wonder how many Countries will send us Aid? and before anyone says we can afford to pay for it, so can most of the African Countries we give to, but their Govts. would rather spend it on Luxuries for themselves. There was a report issued last week which says that there is an aquifer under most of Africa with enough water to transform the Continent, but they cannot get to it as it is a mile down, I'm sure someone can come up with a plan, but that would involve the Aftrican leaders actually doing something for their people instead of leeching off us. and the poor people of Africa suffer.
So the Rain Dance worked? A bit more seriously, we have a lot of old cables and pipes for some services like sewage, water and rural 'telephone' lines. But mostly brand new for Electricity and gas! It seems to be that if the product that you initially put unto it is relativley 'worthless' then the old leaky stuff will. It is not a high spending priority. Perhaps leathality counts as well?