It’s Merry Floodmas! Communities could be cut off as four inches of rain is predicted


It’s Merry Floodmas! Communities could be cut off as four inches of rain is predicted and fears grow of further landslips after 600 tons of rock fell from a 100ft cliff near songwriter Billy Bragg’s £2.4m home

  • This truck had to force its way down a submerged road near Welney in Norfolk yesterday
  • The Met Office issued amber flood warnings for parts of Devon, Cornwall and South Wales
  • The warning raised fears of further landslips after 600 tons of rock fell from a 100ft cliff in Dorset

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Many of us could really be splashing out next week as heavy rain forecast last night raised fears that some homes could be flooded at Christmas.

This truck had to force its way down a submerged road near Welney in Norfolk yesterday. The Met Office issued amber flood warnings for parts of Devon, Cornwall and South Wales.

Up to 4in (100mm) of rain could cut off communities.

The warning raised fears of further landslips after 600 tons of rock fell from a 100ft cliff on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast near Burton Bradstock – 100 yards from songwriter Billy Bragg’s £2.4million home and 300ft from a cafe. 

No one was injured.

Meanwhile the River Towy bursts its banks in Carmarthenshire as Wales bore the brunt of the severe weather, while flood barriers were installed at Bewdley in Worcestershire amid concerns at the high levels of the River Severn.

The river Usk breaks its banks at Crickhowell, in Powys, Wales, as flooding continues to hit parts of the UK this morning

The river Usk breaks its banks at Crickhowell, in Powys, Wales, as flooding continues to hit parts of the UK this morning

The river Usk breaks its banks at Crickhowell, in Powys, Wales, as flooding continues to hit parts of the UK this morning

Many of us could really be splashing out next week as heavy rain forecast last night raised fears that some homes could be flooded at Christmas. This truck had to force its way down a submerged road near Welney in Norfolk yesterday

Many of us could really be splashing out next week as heavy rain forecast last night raised fears that some homes could be flooded at Christmas. This truck had to force its way down a submerged road near Welney in Norfolk yesterday

The Met Office issued an amber ‘be prepared’ rain warning for South Wales running throughout today, where homes and businesses are likely to be flooded and delays or cancellations to train and bus services are also likely.

Forecasters also warned that ‘fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely, causing danger to life’ in the region and said there was a ‘good chance’ communities could be cut off due to water on the roads.

Power cuts to homes and businesses are also likely, with rain developing this morning and lasting for much of the day with 1.6in (40mm) to 2.4in (60mm) expected quite widely over high ground in the warning area. 

The Met Office said a few places are even likely to see 3.2in (80mm) to 3.9in (100mm) with much of this falling in around nine to 12 hours before clearing eastwards, which is ‘likely’ to cause flooding and disruption to transport.

There is a wider yellow ‘be aware’ warning for rain in the South West across Devon, Cornwall and much of the rest of Wales, which warns of a band of heavy rain moving east this morning before clearing overnight.

Many areas are expected to see 0.8in (20mm) to 1.2in (30mm), with Dartmoor likely to have 2.4in (60mm) to 3.2in (80mm). This follows plenty of rain in the area already this week, increasing the chances of flooding.

The warning raised fears of further landslips after 600 tons of rock fell from a 100ft cliff on Dorset's Jurassic Coast near Burton Bradstock (pictured)

The warning raised fears of further landslips after 600 tons of rock fell from a 100ft cliff on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast near Burton Bradstock (pictured)

Flooded fields in Carmarthenshire today after the River Towy bursts its banks following torrential rain in parts of Wales

Flooded fields in Carmarthenshire today after the River Towy bursts its banks following torrential rain in parts of Wales

The heavy rain in the wider warning area will be accompanied by strong winds and a risk of thunderstorms, with gusts of 50mph to 60mph likely around coasts and over higher ground.

This is compared to average rainfall of 5.66in (144mm) for the whole of December in South West England and South Wales, meaning the amber area can expect nearly three weeks’ worth of rain in one day today. 

CrossCounty said severe weather in the Dawlish area of Devon meant its trains were disrupted, with some northbound services starting from Exeter instead of Plymouth, and buses between Plymouth and Tiverton. 

Buses also replaced Great Western Railway trains between Newquay and St Austell due to flooding on the railway.

Natural Resources Wales issued flood warnings for the River Towy at Carmarthen Quay and the River Ritec in Tenby.

Strong waves crash against the Dorset coast at West Bay today as the Met Office issues rain warnings in the South West

Strong waves crash against the Dorset coast at West Bay today as the Met Office issues rain warnings in the South West

The agency said checks on flood defences are under way, as well as ensuring drainage grids and screens are clear to reduce the risk to people and their homes.

Sean Moore, duty tactical manager for NRW, said: ‘The band of heavy rain spreading across parts of Wales on Friday and into Saturday is expected to bring flooding impacts and disruption to many areas of South and Mid Wales.

‘We have teams out checking defences and monitoring river levels alongside Met Office advice to forecast flood risk, and we will update our flood alerts and warnings as appropriate.

‘We are urging people to keep a close eye on weather reports and on the NRW website for details on any potential impacts in their areas. We’re also advising to take extra care when travelling as conditions could be hazardous.’

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