Storm Jorge batters flood-hit towns amid wettest February ever

Fourth storm in successive weekends strikes Britain as 70mph Storm Jorge batters flood-hit towns amid 300 alerts and the wettest February on record

  • Storm Jorge was the latest in a series which have battered Britain in a month
  • It brought heavy downpours, 70mph gales, and even snow to parts of the UK
  • The bad weather continues, as February is declared the wettest on record  

Flood-hit towns took another severe battering yesterday as February was declared the wettest on record.

Storm Jorge was the latest in a series which have struck the UK, bringing heavy downpours, 70 mph gales and snow.

More than 300 flood warnings and alerts were in place across England and Wales yesterday.

And today there are wind warnings across Northern England, North Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Storm Jorge has swept into the UK bringing four inches of rain, fierce winds and snow as drivers are urged to avoid unnecessary travel. Pictured: Garden sheds floating in the flood water in Snaith as dozens of homes and businesses were hit by Storm Jorge

 

Storm Jorge caused waves to crash against a cliff in Eagle Island, County Mayo in Ireland in the fourth weekend of bad weather

A fourth successive weekend of severe weather in the wake of Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis has left flood damaged parts of Britain struggling to cope.

In South Wales police declared a ‘critical incident’ yesterday before the alert was later stood down.

But more than 600 homes and a similar number of businesses in Wales have already been affected by the floods – accounting for around a quarter of properties flooded across the UK.

The police’s concern yesterday centred on Pontypridd which was flooded two weeks ago. Residents in the town, which is 12 miles north of Cardiff, were told to stay indoors unless ‘absolutely necessary’. Ely Bridge in Cardiff was closed on Friday night and police warned of a landslide in Pontsticill, near Merthyr Tydfil, which completely blocked the road.

England has had more than three times the amount of its average February rainfall, according to the Environment Agency.

There are currently more than 260 flood alerts in place with the most severe warnings being issued in the south west and along the English-Welsh border. Pictured: Cars attempting to drive through the flood waters in Powys, Wales

Humberside Fire and Rescue services rescued a resident and his dog from a home in Snaith, Yorkshire, as flooding continues after the River Aire bursts its banks

Flooding at Ely Bridge in Cardiff after Storm Jorge brought heavy rain to Wales

This NASA satellite image shows Storm Jorge bearing down on Great Britain and Ireland

Some areas have had a typical month’s rainfall in just 24 hours.

The UK average for this February was 202.1mm, beating the previous record in 1990 of 193.4mm since records began in 1862.

Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: ‘The relentless rain with the storms – and even between them it’s been raining – is what has made this month very unusual.

‘It’s been a very wet and windy month across the whole of the UK.

‘Showers will continue today, moving across the UK. There are also some sunny spells and not the same persistent rain.’

Rain-soaked areas in East Yorkshire have been battered by torrential downpours for several days causing the River Aire to burst its banks. Over four tons of sandbags have been deployed to the area as the Environment Agency issued eight flood warnings on the River Aire.

The Environment Agency has warned water levels will remain high for several days.

The Met Office encouraged people to ‘slow down, plan ahead and look out for each other’ during the cold and stormy weather. Pictured: Residents and rescue workers were forced to wade through the flood water in Snaith, Yorkshire

Weather warnings remain in place as Storm Jorge brings gusts of up to 70mph. Pictured: Aer Lingus plane struggling with the gales while attempting to land at Leeds Bradford airport


There are currently more than 260 flood alerts in place (left) with the most severe warnings being issued in the south west and along the English-Welsh border as well as four yellow weather warnings for snow and wind (right)

It said 1,000 staff per day have worked on maintaining flood defences and pumps, clearing debris and repairing damaged barriers. Heavy rain – which started with Storm Ciara continued with Storm Dennis and now Jorge – has contributed to record river levels which have seen safety teams put in ‘Herculean efforts’ to erect flood defences.

Storm Jorge also brought misery to the West Country in the form of landslides, flooded roads and power cuts. Torrential rain on Friday night is thought to have loosened soil that caused a 400-ton ‘mountain’ of mud that blocked the A381 in Devon between Totnes and Ipplepen.

Ironbridge and Bewdley along the River Severn in the Midlands are among the worst-hit areas in England.

Last night a total of 86 flood warnings were in place – mostly in the South West and along the English-Welsh border and in Yorkshire – while 215 ‘flooding is possible’ alerts were also in force. Gales were forecast across Northern England, North Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland until 3pm today.

The Environment Agency said 3,340 business and residential properties had already been flood-damaged by Storms Ciara and Dennis but the figure could rise following Storm Jorge.

Emergency services set up pumps in an attempt to reduce water levels in the flooded village of East Cowick, Yorkshire, after heavy rain and strong winds

Storm Jorge is the fifth storm to hit the UK since December 6 last year and the third in February. Pictured: Flooding in East Cowick, Yorkshire

Fire Fighters step over a bank of sandbags to check on residents in the flooded town of East Cowick, Yorkshire, where most homes have been evacuated

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