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Widespread flood warnings as river levels surge after heavy rain

The Environment Agency has issued 82 flood warnings, with the Midlands expected to be the worst hit.

Paul Hayes ferries children to dry land after their family holiday accommodation has been surrounded by floodwater in Lower Lydbrook, where rain from the Welsh hills and high tides have flooded the village, which sits next to the banks of the River Wye, rendering it impassable (PA)
Paul Hayes ferries children to dry land after their family holiday accommodation has been surrounded by floodwater in Lower Lydbrook, where rain from the Welsh hills and high tides have flooded the village, which sits next to the banks of the River Wye, rendering it impassable (PA)

By Josh Payne, PA

The UK has been hit by widespread flooding after rivers burst their banks following the weekend’s heavy rain.

The Environment Agency issued 82 flood warnings and 117 flood alerts, with the Midlands most affected by the wet weather.

Due to heavy rain over the weekend – which postponed football matches, caused train delays and flooded roads – river levels have remained high.

The River Severn in the West Midlands is due to be a flood risk until Tuesday, while the River Wye and the River Trent also have multiple warnings in place.

The Environment Agency said there will be travel disruption in the affected areas and some individual properties will flood.

Flood defences have been put in place in Bewdley, Hereford, Upton-upon-Severn and Shrewsbury, and temporary barriers were erected at Ironbridge in Shropshire.

Rob Allen, who has been on holiday in the Gloucestershire village of Lydbrook since the weekend, told the PA News Agency that water from the River Wye had affected his family holiday.

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Floodwater in Lower Lydbrook, where rain from the Welsh hills and high tides have flooded the village on the banks of the River Wye, rendering it impassable (Ben Birchall/PA)

He said: “We are on holiday down in the area and we knew that the river was rising overnight, but we woke up this morning and didn’t expect it to have risen so high.

“It has affected our access to the holiday home we are in. The family car has been flooded and all three cars are going to be written off.

“From where we are staying, it is a good 400-500ft from the river – the local flood warden knocked on the door at tea-time yesterday and said there was a chance it would rise but I don’t think he expected it to affect the vehicles in the way it did.”

Mr Allen said his family were forced to fetch some personal belongings from the cars using a canoe provided by the flood warden.

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Paul Hayes ferries children to dry land after their family holiday accommodation has been surrounded by floodwater in Lower Lydbrook (Ben Birchall/PA)

He added: “The house is fine but there is no access out of the house.

“We needed to fetch some personal belongings from the car so the flood warden helped us and provided us with a boat.

“It has shocked the community around here. It has been worse or as bad as it has been for a number of years.”

Yorkshire was also an area predicted to be affected by flooding.

Emily Hood, 21, a student at York St John University, told PA: “York is renowned for flooding but I’ve studied at York St John University for the last three years and I have never witnessed it risen this high before.

“People have said it’s been higher but I have never captured it on camera.

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Flooding in York (Emily Hood/PA)

“In our area, many fields and roads were flooded due to the rainfall. It rained all of last week and then pretty much for 24 hours Friday and Saturday.

“Luckily, it hasn’t rained since Saturday so fingers crossed the river level starts to get lower.”

Despite the warnings, the country is expected to have some dry and sunny weather on Monday.

In a forecast issued for Monday, the Met Office said: “Most areas bright with long periods of sunshine, albeit hazy across southern England.

“Most parts dry, but some showers over northern Scotland and the far east of England.

“Cloudier and windy over Cornwall where rain at times for some.”

The flood forecast issued by the Environment Agency on Sunday said: “Local flooding is expected from rivers across parts of the West Midlands today and tomorrow.

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A man wades through floodwater in Lower Lydbrook (Ben Birchall/PA)

“Local flooding from rivers is also probable across other parts of the Midlands and parts of Lincolnshire today and also possible over parts of Yorkshire today and Nottinghamshire tomorrow.

“Local ongoing flooding from the River Severn in the West Midlands is possible through to Tuesday.

“Land, roads and some individual properties will flood and there will be local travel disruption.”

PA

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