UK weather: People said ‘do your business now’ amid flood warnings

people said

The latest heat wave ended abruptly with heavy rain in places (Picture: PA/EPA/Metro.co.uk)

Households have been urged to pack ‘handbags’ with valuables and essentials as three million homes are at risk of flooding in the coming days.

This summer’s second prolonged heat wave came to an abrupt end on Monday when thunderstorms pelted some areas with nearly three inches of rain.

Forecasters have warned of an ‘unbelievable downpour’ this week after the driest July on record and the driest first half of the year in decades brought droughts to parts of the UK , leaving parched land.

The Met Office issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for most of the country on Monday and Tuesday as conditions could cause flash flooding, transport disruption and power cuts.

It will remain in place for southern England on Wednesday, where communities could be cut off by flooded roads, and the risk of rapid or deep flood water could be life threatening.

More than three million households in England are vulnerable to surface water flooding, the Environment Agency estimates, with a further 300,000 at risk in Wales and Scotland.

People who live in ‘lower properties’ should ensure their valuables are ‘ready to go’ or ‘on an upper level of your home’, due to the current high risk of flooding.

Speaking to Sky News, Met Office meteorologist Clare Nasir said: “For low lying properties, which may have been built on a flood plain, yes there is a risk of flooding in the properties. “

“Get all your documents, whether it’s your cell phone, passport, etc., all those things that you don’t want to see damaged by the floods and make sure they’re ready to go or at a higher level of your home.

She added that the showers overnight and this morning are “the wrong kind of rain we need for the ground” because the ground is too hard to absorb it.

The meteorologist continued: “What we are looking for is some sort of continuous rain, moderate rain, rather than this incredibly intense gust, which is currently moving into more southern parts of England.

“So we’re not off the hook yet.”

Handout photo courtesy of @themanwith1arse's Twitter feed of lightning striking across Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, as the UK prepares for three days of rain and yellow weather warnings.  Picture date: Monday August 15, 2022. PA Photo.  See PA story WEATHER Floods.  Photo credit should read: Zak Kennedy/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption.  Reuse of the image may require additional permission from the copyright holder.

Picture taken of lightning striking across Wishaw, North Lanarkshire (Picture: PA)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Coastal JJ/Bav Media/REX/Shutterstock (12232126d) Lightning strikes over the English Channel on Saturday morning seen from Selsey Beach in West Sussex as thunderstorms batter southern England.  Met Office forecasts today say the weather will be sunny, very hot and dry for many, although cloudier in parts of the North Sea coast.  Cloudier and more choppy over southern UK where a few heavy showers and thunderstorms at times, especially first thing and again this afternoon.  However, rain showers may affect parts of the south east of the UK overnight.  Warm again. Sunday: sunny, very warm and dry for many, although some North Sea coastal areas are more cloudy.  Heavy showers and thunderstorms will affect parts of southern UK, particularly East Anglia and south east England.  Temperatures generally near normal with light to moderate winds for most locations.  Seasonal Weather, Selsey, United Kingdom - Jul 24, 2021

Lightning over the English Channel this weekend as thunderstorms batter southern England (Picture: Coastal JJ/Bav Media/Rex/Shutterstock)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matthew Chattle/Shutterstock (13094653aa) Seasonal weather: UK drought.  Rain in North London.  Seasonal weather, UK.  - August 15, 2022.

Rainfall in London (Photo: Matthew Chattle/Shutterstock)

Handout photo courtesy of @WeatherSteff's Twitter feed of staff at The Milky Way in Devon clearing flood waters inside the premises as heavy rain and flooding hit parts of Cornwall and Devon as thunderstorms sweep across South West and East England.  Picture date: Monday August 15, 2022. PA Photo.  See PA story WEATHER Floods.  Photo credit should read: Steff Gaulter/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption.  Reuse of the image may require additional permission from the copyright holder.

Staff at The Milky Way in Devon drain flood water inside the premises (Picture: PA)

ELLESMERE PORT, UK - AUGUST 15: Visitors to the National Waterways Museum use umbrellas during a rainy spell as forecasters predict storms following the August 15, 2022 heatwave at Ellesmere Port UK.  After the UK experienced a second summer heat wave, storms are expected to start in the north of the country from Monday and spread across the country by Wednesday, with flood warnings issued by the Met Office .  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Visitors to the National Waterways Museum use umbrellas during a rainy spell (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Heavy downpours caused flooding in parts of Cornwall and Devon on Monday afternoon while thunderstorms developed in east coast counties including Essex, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.

Met Office meteorologist Tom Morgan said most places remained dry, but added: ‘There were parts of the country that mainly saw the heavy showers today, in the south-west of England.

“We saw flooding in parts of Cornwall and Devon,” he said, adding that there had been “very difficult driving conditions, flash flooding, hail with thunderstorms and lightning”.

He said the floods were also “leading to power outages and potential flash flooding, especially in cities and more urban areas.”

“There are also thunderstorms in the east coast areas of Suffolk, Essex and Lincolnshire,” he said, but added that these are not expected to have a significant impact bar causing difficult driving conditions.

Mr Morgan continued: “There is just as much potential [Tuesday] be as impactful as it has been today.

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Flood warnings had also been issued for parts of west London near the River Thames, including Richmond, Chiswick and Putney, but these have since been lifted.

Speaking on Monday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘We learned a lot from last year in July when there was flash flooding caused by a huge amount of rain – two months of rain – in just a few hours and people’s homes, businesses and public transport were flooded.

“Speaking to the Met Office, the Environment Agency and many others, we are concerned that over the next few days we could see a huge amount of rain in a short period of time which could lead to sudden floods.

“I have written to tens of thousands of Londoners who live in homes at risk of flash flooding.

“My message to Londoners is to contact Floodline, go to your local authority’s website to see what you can do to reduce the risk of flooding but also to minimize the impact on you,” he said. stated, recommending people to also check that they are insured and what those details are as well as preparing a handbag.

Mr Khan said: ‘[We are] working closely with water companies, firefighters, Transport for London, local councils and other partners to ensure we are as prepared as possible, but the bad news is that there may well be flash floods if there is heavy rain for a short period of time.’

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Earlier, Professor Hannah Cloke, a hydrology expert at the University of Reading, explained why there is a risk of flooding in drought-affected areas.

She said: ‘The ground is really dry and when it’s so dry it acts a bit like concrete and that water can’t get in so it just drains away.

“There’s the damage to homes and businesses that these floods can cause, and the inconvenience of transportation disruptions, but if it’s very heavy in one place, it can also be very dangerous.”

On how it could affect towns and villages, she said: ‘If you get heavy rain in a town, the drainage system can cope up to a point, but if there really is heavy rains, this can overwhelm the system – the rain cannot flow far fast enough.

In rural areas, Prof Cloke said this type of flooding often hits low points in roads and under bridges, adding: ‘It is very dangerous to walk through floodwaters.’

Explaining why these heavy rains won’t alleviate drought-stricken areas, she said: ‘It really is a drop in the ocean. It doesn’t soak into the ground, which is how we really need it.

“We need to put it back into the system where it can be stored. We really need a long rainy winter to replenish that.

weather warning card 16.08 met office august 16 2022 metro graphic credit metro.co.uk

Map showing rain and thunderstorm warnings (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Meanwhile, Christine Colvin, director of advocacy and engagement at the Rivers Trust, said there was a risk people might not take the drought seriously in the coming days ‘just because it’s raining’ .

“We want people to keep this rainy event in context and as part of the big picture, and the big picture is that we actually had another incredibly dry year as well as a dry summer, and it will take sustained rains to replenish our supplies,” she said.

“Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean the drought is over.

“It seems very counter-intuitive, but it will take sustained rainfall to replenish the reserves we are actually using, namely the aquifers and the managed storage in our reservoirs.”

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