Monday, June 11, 2012

More flooding on the way in England and Wales, forecasters warn

Steven Morris in the Guardian (UK): Householders and business owners have been warned to be prepared for further flooding, as torrential rain sweeps across the country. The Met Office issued an amber alert for the east, south-east and south-west of England and there were concerns that more rain in mid and west Wales could cause further damage.

By lunchtime on Monday the Environment Agency had issued 35 flood alerts – signalling that flooding is possible – for parts of the south and north of England, the Midlands and Wales, after up to 50mm of rain fell in a few hours. One flood warning – meaning flooding was expected and immediate action would be needed – was issued for areas of Surrey and West Sussex around Gatwick airport. The airport said services were working normally.

Firefighters in West Sussex received more than 80 flood-related calls between 10.30pm on Sunday and 3am on Monday. Some homes in Littlehampton were under 1.2 metres of water, and a temporary centre for evacuees was set up at a leisure centre. About 40 properties were affected. A fire service spokesman said: "There are no reports of any injuries, but people are being urged to stay out of floodwater due to the dangers of lifted manhole covers and water contaminated with sewage."

Some schools on the south coast were closed and health emergency cases were diverted from Worthing hospital in West Sussex to a nearby centre. There were road closures and some traffic disruption throughout the south-east. The weather is proving a bonus for pest control firms, who are reporting an increase in callouts to rat infestations. Rats are thought to be moving close to the surface as they flee flooded sewers....

Cuckmere water meadows, or, why water meadows are called water meadows. Shot in 2003 by Robin Webster, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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