Press release: Environment Agency staff working 24/7 to protect people as severe flood risk continues

Environment Agency

February 26
17:05 2020

Environment Agency teams continue to work around the clock to protect people and properties from severe flooding, with further floods expected across parts of the country today and possibly into the weekend. England has now received over 200% of its average February rainfall with some areas experiencing a months worth of rain in 24 hours.

Severe flooding is impacting people in Shrewsbury, Bewdley, Ironbridge and other locations along the river Severn. Severe river flooding is likely along parts of the River Severn today (Wednesday) where further overtopping of flood defences remains a risk through Ironbridge, Bewdley and Bridgnorth. Flooding along parts of the River Severn is likely until at least Sunday. Significant river flooding is also possible for parts of Yorkshire through the next five days and along parts of the River Trent in the east midlands today (Wednesday).

As of 12:00 pm on Wednesday 26 February there are two severe flood warnings for Ironbridge and Shrewsbury, meaning there is an immediate risk to life; 96 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected; and 140 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible, in places across the country.

The Environment Agency is urging people to check their flood risk and remain prepared to take action as the situation changes.

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. Community information officers are also out supporting affected communities offering advice and assistance.

Environment Agency operational teams have put up more than 6km of temporary flood barriers across the country and flood defences have protected over 34,184 properties from flooding over the last week.

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

Our operational teams continue to work night and day to protect communities alongside the River Severn, which is experiencing record levels. 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

Our staff will remain on the ground, working alongside the emergency services, to support those communities and pump away flood water. We urge people to stay up to date and listen to the advice of emergency services.

We have already seen 200 per cent of the average rainfall for February with more wet weather forecast. We need to prepare for more periods of extreme weather like this and Id 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 have exceeded existing records across the country this winter with hundreds of the Environment Agencys river gauges surpassing all time readings this decade. The Rivers Colne, Ribble, Calder, Aire, Trent, Severn, Wye, Lugg and Derwent are among the many rivers where records have been broken due to continuous wet weather.

The public can keep up to date with the latest safety advice, call Floodline on 0345 9

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