127,000 properties flood-protected this winter as more heavy rainfall expected this weekend


APPROXIMATELY 600 Environment Agency officers are deployed across England as flood warnings remain in place across the country, with ongoing flooding impacting parts of the West Midlands and Yorkshire.

With unsettled weather conditions expected to continue over the weekend, communities are urged to check their flood risk and remain prepared to take action if needed.

Heavy rainfall is expected to cause the River Severn levels to rise but these are not currently forecasted to reach levels seen over previous weeks.

Environment Agency is replacing damaged barriers in Ironbridge today to ensure that the barrier system provides protection over the coming weeks.

Pumping operations are also still underway at Ironbridge and Bewdley.

New figures released by the Environment Agency show that 127,000 properties have been protected by flood defences this winter.

Provisional figures show that 15 rivers in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Lancashire recorded their highest ever levels during or triggered by Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis.

Since the start of Storm Dennis, up to 1,000 Environment Agency staff per day have been mobilised on the ground to issue flood warnings, operate flood defences and temporary pumps, clear debris from rivers, inspect damaged flood defences and make repairs.

As of 12pm on Friday 28 February there is one severe flood warning for Ironbridge, meaning there is an immediate risk to life; 70 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected; and 117 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible, in places across the country.

Toby Willison, Executive Director of Operations at the Environment Agency, said: “With significant rainfall expected over the weekend, our operational work continues to protect people and property along the River Severn and parts of Yorkshire.

“Environment Agency teams are on the ground, pumping away flood water and where it is safe to do so, repairing affected temporary flood barriers.

“Further rain is forecast next week and teams will continue to work on the ground to protect the country.

“So far this winter 127,000 homes this winter have been protected by our work, that is 127,000 families whose lives have been spared the terrible misery that flooding causes.

“We have already seen exceptionally wet weather in February.

“We need to prepare for more periods of extreme weather like this and I’d urge the public to be aware of their flood risk, sign up to flood warnings, make a flood plan and not to drive or walk through flood water.”

River levels will remain exceptionally high on the Severn for some time and communities, in particular Shrewsbury, Bewdley, Bridgnorth and Ironbridge, should prepare for potentially ongoing severe flooding especially with more rain forecast.