Guardian News and Media/London
Parts of Wales that have been hit by the worst floods in a generation are preparing for further rain in the next 48 hours, as more than 450 flood warnings and alerts remain in place across the UK.
Heavy rain is forecast in parts of north and south Wales from today evening, hampering the round-the-clock cleanup operation launched after Storm Dennis.
Alex Davies-Jones, the Welsh Labour MP for Pontypridd, said stricken communities were refilling sandbags and repairing flood gates in anticipation of Storm Ellen.
“Homes have been completely destroyed, even those with flood gates,” she said, adding that 600 people had been forced to evacuate their homes and more than 1,000 properties were badly damaged. “It’s absolutely tragic. Heartbreaking.”
Nine severe flood warnings – meaning a danger to life – remained in place in England (seven) and Wales (two) yesterday, along with more than 450 warnings and alerts stretching vast areas of the UK.
Six people are thought to have died in the flooding. The sixth was named on Monday night as Yvonne Booth, 55, from Birmingham, who was swept into flood water near Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire on Sunday. Her family said they were “devastated” and “appreciate the continued support from the emergency services”.
Residents of Uckinghall and Upton upon Severn, in Worcestershire, were advised to evacuate as water levels were expected to rise. Towns including Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, Bewdley, in Worcestershire and Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire, were identified as being the government’s greatest concern after the River Severn burst its banks.
“Our absolute priority is keeping people safe and as such we are asking the community in the affected areas to make alternative arrangements to stay with family and friends or to head to the rescue centre, where provisions are in place,” said chief superintendent Tom Harding, of West Mercia police.
ore torrential rain of the sort that had swelled rivers to “exceptional” levels was forecast to fall in the north of England later this week, the Environment Agency said.
David Throup, the EA’s West Midlands environment manager, said water levels in the town of Hereford, where residents were evacuated by boat, were “truly exceptional”.
“They are the highest levels we’ve ever recorded on the River Wye and those records go back 200 years,” he told Sky News.
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