UK flooding: Ongoing risks and costs

A week after Windstorm Ciara, Windstorm Dennis brought flood- and wind-related damage across parts of Europe, with Germany, France, Belgium and the UK bearing much of the brunt, and killing at least six people.

Total economic losses from these events are expected to exceed £78m, and ongoing flooding continues to effect transport infrastructure.

The Environment Agency says England has already received 141% of its average February rainfall so far with some areas experiencing a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours. River levels continue to exceed existing records across the country. The Rivers Colne, Ribble, Calder, Aire, Trent, Severn, Wye, Lugg, and Derwent are among the many rivers where records have been broken.
With more rain forecast, significant river flooding, particularly across the Pennines and parts of Yorkshire and the lower Severn are anticipated over the remainder of the week and the Environment Agency is urging businesses to remain prepared.

As of 09:45 on 21st February there are 5 severe flood warnings in place, meaning there is an immediate risk to life, 75 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is expected, and 144 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible. Whilst high, these numbers are in fact on the previous day.
Over 1,000 Environment Agency staff have been mobilised in the past week, with 6km of temporary flood barriers put up across the country, protecting nearly 25,000 properties.

Director of incident management at the Environment Agency, Caroline Douglass said: "This is the third weekend we have seen exceptional river levels and stormy weather, and with the effects of climate change, we need to prepare for more frequent periods of extreme weather like this. People need 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."

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