Storm Barra: Torrential rain and red flood alerts amid warnings of rising river levels

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The Met Office has issued a total of 31 flood alerts across the UK, with five on a red alert for expected flooding as hundreds remain without power in parts of the north after Storm Barra triggered a mass outa

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Storm Barra: MET Office forecast for Thursday

Storm Barra continues to wreak havoc across the country as torrential rain continues bringing flood alerts and river warnings.

The Met Office has issued a total of 31 flood alerts across the UK, with three on a red alert for expected flooding in Dallam, near Warrington, as well as areas along the River Bollin, River Vyrnwy and River Wye.

A further warnings for possible floods across England have been issued for areas including Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Hertfordshire.

The Met Office said flooding was possible in some areas from today through to Saturday, warning of potential damage to properties and travel disruption.

In a statement on their outlook for the next 48 hours, they said: “Local flooding is possible from rivers today (Thursday) until Saturday along parts of the River Severn.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service work on a flooded road
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Image:

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service)

Flood alerts issued for the River Mersey after Storm Barra brings heavy rain
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Image:

Environment Agency)

“Local flooding is possible from rivers and surface water this evening (Thursday) in parts of the north of England and on Monday in parts of England and Wales. Land, roads and some properties may flood and there may be travel disruption.”

In the north west, a flood alert has been issued for the River Mersey- covering parts of the river in areas near Bramhall, Stockport, Sale, Altrincham and Urmston.

Specific areas that may be affected by flooding include Stretford, Gatley, Cheadle Hulme and Cheadle.

A statement on the Gov website says that river levels remain high on the Mersey today (Thursday) after heavy rainfall.

The levels are expected to peak this evening.

Flooding in Cheshire after a deluge of torrential rain brought in by Storm Barra
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Image:

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service)

A statement on the Gov website reads: “River levels remain high on the River Mersey due to heavy rainfall.

“Further rainfall is forecast this evening and river levels are forecast to peak later this evening, and will remain high throughout the night.

“Please avoid using low lying footpaths and any bridges near local watercourses, and do not attempt to walk or drive through flood water.”

In North Staffordshire, alerts are in place for areas around the River Churnet and River Tean in the Staffordshire Moorlands after the area was battered by Storm Barra.

Flooded Brooklands Road in Sale, Greater Manchester
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Image:

ZENPIX LTD)

Elsewhere in Staffordshire and a flood alert is also in place around the River Dove.

Also, just over the border in Cheshire and a flood warning – where ‘flooding is expected’ – is in place for certain parts around the River Bollin at Macclesfield.

Flooding in North Staffordshire is possible on ‘low-lying land and roads’ adjacent to the River Churnet, between Leek and Rocester, and by the River Tean in locations between Adderley and Spath – including Cecilly Brook at Cheadle.

Met Office meteorologists say the rain will return at around 4pm today before turning heavy between 5pm and 7pm, and 9pm until 10pm. It will continue to rain through until around 7am on Friday morning.

Debris strewn across the road in Aberystwyth from Storm Barra
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Image:

Alamy Live News.)

Aberystwyth seafront with debris strewn across the road
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Image:

Alamy Live News.)

In Wales, seven flood alerts and five warnings have been issued.

Currently Natural Resources Wales say flooding is expected at the River Severn in the following locations; Pool Quay and Trewern, Buttington, Welshpool, Llandrinio, and Criggion.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has sent 11 flood alerts and five warnings for areas in the north-east of Scotland and the south-west.

It comes as communities in the North East and Scotland are still trying to recover from the catastrophic effects of Storm Arwen.

Thousands of homes lost power for up to 10 days in the wake of 100mph winds and lashing rain at the end of November.

Floods around the Ship Inn pub, at Emsworth Harbour in Langstone, Hampshire
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Image:

Vicky Stovell / Animal News Agency)

Northern Powergrid said it is in “the final push” to reconnect 500 customers who remained without power on Tuesday morning.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed frustration at the situation, saying “too many people have spent too long without power”.

Asked whether the situation in northern England is acceptable, the Prime Minister told reporters: “No, I don’t think it is.”

Tragically, the body of an elderly woman has been discovered in a flooded river after she fell into the water during Storm Barra.

Floods at Emsworth Harbour in Langstone as torrential rain batters parts of the country
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Image:

Vicky Stovell / Animal News Agency)

Venetia Smith, known as Netia, went missing from her home in Blandford, Dorset, this morning, prompting her family to call the police.

The 80-year-old’s stroller was found at a bridge crossing the River Stour near a Morrison’s supermarket in the rural market town.

It is thought she fell from the bridge and was swept away by the water, as the country was buffeted by heavy rain and 80mph winds brought by Storm Barra, with several Met Office severe weather warnings in place today.

A search of the area ensued and her body was later uncovered from the river around a mile downstream at 3pm.

Storm Barra arrives in Manchester city centre as a woman carries as wind-battered umbrella
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Image:

Cavendish Press)

Five day forecast

Today:

Showers easing away northeastwards with many parts fine for a time, particularly the east. Rain returning to western parts by lunchtime then gradually moving eastwards. Becoming milder in southwest.

Tonight:

Band of rain clearing eastwards followed by scattered blustery showers. These most frequent in north and west with a risk of hail and thunder.

Friday:

Sunny spells and scattered showers, though some eastern areas probably staying dry. Showers heavy at times and most frequent in north and west with a risk of hail and thunder.

Outlook for Saturday to Monday:

Dry and frosty start to Saturday, but becoming wetter and milder from the west. Further rain and strong winds at times on Sunday and Monday.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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