Press release

Public urged to be vigilant as new storm brings flood risk

People across the south west, Midlands and the north of England are warned to be prepared for the risk of flooding this week.

High spring tides combined with high winds could cause a flood risk along south west and north west coasts and heavy rainfall brings a risk of river flooding in the north, Midlands and south west.

Rivers and areas already affected by record river levels throughout the wettest December on record, including Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire, are likely to be at risk, with the potential for very heavy rainfall inundating drains and making river levels rise.

Residents are being urged to check their flood risk, be prepared for flooding and be cautious if travelling, particularly on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The main areas at risk include communities in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire, the Midlands and the south west as well as central southern England. There is also the possibility for some flooding along the rivers Severn and Wye as rainfall causes river levels to rise. The Environment Agency may deploy temporary barriers in some areas to reduce the flood risk to people and property.

Environment Agency teams have been helping communities recovering from the severe floods which hit Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire last month. Repairs to a breached flood bank along the River Douglas at Croston are due to be completed this week.

As well as working closely with emergency services, teams from the Environment Agency will be working 24/7, checking and maintaining flood defences, clearing blockages in watercourses and monitoring river levels.

Chris Wilding, National Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said:

Heavy rainfall brings the risk of flooding on Tuesday and Wednesday across the south west, Midlands, Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire, with the potential for high waves along south west and north west coasts. Our teams have worked around the clock over the past few months, first responding to the recent floods and then helping support communities with recovery, and we will continue to do so with more heavy rainfall on the way.

Our thoughts are with all those who have suffered serious flooding over the past few months, and it is once again vital that people prepare for heavy rainfall and the risk of further flooding.

We will issue flood warnings and alerts where necessary as rivers respond to the rainfall, which could also inundate drains, so people need to be ready for flash flooding in some places.

We urge people to check their flood risk, prepare for flooding, follow the advice from emergency services and never risk driving through flood water.

Many places saw record river levels during the recent flooding, including the River Aire in Leeds, the rivers Calder and Ribble, affecting places such as Whalley, Hebden Bridge and Ribchester. A new 24-hour rainfall record of 341.4mm was recorded at Honister Pass up to 6pm on 5 December 2015.

More information on flooding: