Storm Dennis: Met Office issues severe weather warnings as UK faces weekend battering from wind and rain

Chiara Giordano
A car is stuck in flood water near Peasmarsh, Somerset, where heavy overnight rainfall caused the nearby River Yarty to rise, 13 February, 2020: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Severe weather warnings have been issued as the UK is set to be battered by strong winds and rain for the second consecutive weekend.

Storm Dennis is expected to bring winds of up to 70mph and severe downpours to England, Wales and Scotland on Saturday and the entire UK on Sunday.

Amber warnings are in place advising that flooding could cause danger to life, power cuts are expected and there is a good chance transport links will be impacted.

Met Office chief forecaster Paul Gundersen said: “In parts of Devon, south Wales, northern England and a swathe of southern England – stretching from Andover eastwards – rainfall is expected to be particularly heavy and persistent, and these areas are covered by amber warnings because of the risk of flooding and other disruption.”

The Environment Agency said there is a “heightened risk of flooding” across much of southern, central and northern England this weekend.

As of noon on Friday it had issued 12 flood warnings for England – where flooding is “expected” – and 97 flood alerts, where flooding is “possible”.

Flood defences will be in operation and additional temporary flood barriers were installed in Shropshire and Lancashire on Friday ahead of the anticipated deluge.

Caroline Douglass, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “We have teams out across England today continuing to prepare for the severe weather that we are expecting over the weekend.

“The above-average rainfall that we have seen since the autumn means we’ll be seeing rain falling on already wet ground, leading to an increased risk of flooding.”

Network Rail has advised passengers to expect disruption on many routes due to flooding and to allow more time for their journeys.

Tracks could be flooded as the ground near parts of the railway is already saturated, particularly in the northwest.

Cross-border journeys between England and Scotland were severely restricted last weekend.

Households living near rail lines are being urged to secure any loose items in their gardens, after several trampolines were blown onto tracks and overhead electric wires last weekend, blocking lines.

The storm is also likely to cause treacherous driving conditions.

Ben Sheridan, who works for the AA, said: “The forecast looks bleak across the UK with warnings for wind and heavy rain which will significantly reduce visibility on the roads.

“For those who are braving the storm, drivers should make sure they account for the conditions.

“Slow down, allow for greater stopping distances and watch out for potential hazards.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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