Flood alerts issued as more heavy rain predicted

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The Environment Agency has issued more than 30 flood warnings and 150 flood alerts with heavy rain predicted to affect areas of the country badly hit by last month’s storms.

Flood barriers are being deployed to protect Hereford, three weeks after a record high on the River Wye of 6.11 metres – more than two metres above the level which leads to minor flooding in the city.

The Environment Agency said the River Wye was expected to peak in Hereford on Tuesday night at around five metres, while the Met Office has warned of heavy rain in parts of Wales and northern England.

Meanwhile, the River Severn in Shrewsbury is predicted to rise to levels which may cause flooding in the town on 11 March.

Dave Throup, Environment Agency manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, tweeted: “As forecast some absolutely torrential rain over mid-Wales.

“River Wye in #Herefordshire now responding to last night’s heavy rain in Wales. Expecting a peak of around 5m in Hereford tonight. That’s around a metre lower than 17th February.”

In another tweet, Throup said February’s floods on a stretch of the River Teme near Leintwardine, Herefordshire, had created new channels, undercut banks and created huge new gravel deposits.

The Met Office has put an amber warning in place for parts of mid and north-west Wales with fast-flowing or deep floodwater likely, causing a “danger to life”.

Flooding stock
More unsettled weather over the next few days could bring more misery to flood-prone areas (Ben Birchall/PA)

Areas already hit by flooding in February, including Builth Wells and Newtown in mid-Wales, are among those expected to be worst hit, with flooding likely to cause damage to homes and businesses.

Pantmawr, in Powys, saw 23.8mm of rainfall in around four or five hours on 9 March, with more expected overnight and some areas on higher ground due to get up to 100mm.

A yellow weather warning, a grade below amber, is in place for areas of south, west, mid, and north Wales, including areas recently flooded during Storm Dennis.

A similar warning is in place for parts of the north of England, including Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and Huddersfield, with a warning that heavy rain could disrupt travel.

But good news for flood-hit areas could be on the horizon with the long-term forecast predicting drier weather.

Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said: “Although there’s going to be a lot of rain in the next 24 hours, beyond that, although it will be fairly unsettled, it doesn’t look like any one particular place will be in the firing line to see persistent, heavy rain.

“There’s some rain around but it’s not as focused.

“It’s generally a colder second half to the week with sunshine and some showers, but still quite blustery.

“There’s a hint in the second half of the month things might become a bit quieter.

“It’s still 10 days away but there are some tentative signs we might get some drier weather in the long term.

“But certainly in the next week or so it’s going to be very changeable.”

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