News story

Storm Dennis: continued vigilance advised as flood risk continues

Ongoing significant river flooding impacts to continue thoughout this week.

UK flood sign overlooking flooded land in rural area.

Vigilance advised ahead of further impacts from Storm Dennis.

The Environment Agency is urging people to check the latest safety advice as impacts continue following Storm Dennis.

Ongoing significant river flooding impacts continue through this week. River levels will remain especially high on the Rivers Wye and Teme tonight and the River Ouse in York, continuing on the lower River Wye tomorrow. Further heavy rain is forecast in the north of England for later Wednesday into Thursday and may fall on catchments that have been recently flooded.

Groundwater levels remain high and in some places are rising again in parts of Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, North Lincolnshire, East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.

As of 9.30pm on Monday 17 February there are seven Severe Flood Warnings in place. Three are along the River Severn at New Street, Uckinghall and Waterside. Two are currently active along the River Wye at Blackmarstone and Hampton Bishop. An additional Severe Flood Warning is in place along the River Lugg at Hampton Bishop, and one on the River Trent at Burton upon Trent. Severe flood warnings mean a potential danger to life and immediate action is required. Residents should follow the advice of the emergency services.

188 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected, and 233 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible, are in place across the country. Today there has been more than 480 flood warnings and flood alerts in place across England – the highest on record.

Over 1,000 Environment Agency staff are on the ground operating flood defences and temporary pumps, clearing debris from rivers, inspecting flood defences and supporting affected communities. Environment Agency operational teams have put up more than 5km of temporary flood barriers across the country and our flood defences have protected nearly 20,000 properties from the impacts of Storm Dennis.

Toby Willison, Executive Director of Operations at the Environment Agency, said:

Every home flooded is a tragedy for that family and our hearts go out to all those who have been flooded during Storm Dennis.

Our teams will continue to work 24/7, alongside the police, fire and rescue, and local authorities, to reduce the risk of flooding and keep communities safe.

We expect disruptive weather into the middle of this week bringing a significant flood risk for the West Midlands, and there are flood warnings in place across much of England.

Operational teams are out across England today, We have deployed temporary barriers and are operating 90 pumps across the country. We are also ready to operate our large flood defences as required, and so far we have protected nearly 20,000 properties from the impacts of Storm Dennis.

With the effects of climate change, we are seeing more frequent periods of extreme weather. It is important for people to be aware of their flood risk and stay safe by signing up for flood warnings, making a flood plan and remembering not to drive or walk through flood water – it’s not worth the risk.

It has been an exceptionally wet winter so far with autumn rainfall records being broken for South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. England as a whole had its fifth wettest autumn on record. The flood risk will remain high and the public need to remain vigilant by signing up for our free flood warnings and checking what to do in a flood.

Keep up to date with the latest safety advice, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates.

Published 14 February 2020
Last updated 17 February 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated with latest operational information.

  2. Updated to reflect the current weather outlook.

  3. We have updated our GOV UK story to reflect the current situation and outlook ahead.

  4. Updated News story for today.

  5. First published.