Storm Desmond Brings Flooding and Disruption to Parts of UK

storm DesmondHigh-speed winds and heavy rain are causing severe disruption as Storm Desmond continues to batter the UK.

People were evacuated from their homes as flash flooding swept through parts of Cumbria, and police in the area declared a “major incident”.

Dozens of train routes have been cancelled, and roads have been closed in Scotland, England and Wales.

Scores of severe flood warnings are in place in England, with two more issued in south-west Scotland.  The highest level of warnings indicates there may be “danger to life”.

It has been said the “epicentre” of the storm was likely to hit Cumbria, with the worst yet to come.  Rescue centres have been opened in the county, and sandbags are being handed out by the emergency services.

The Met Office’s highest red warning for rain has been issued for Cumbria and south-west Scotland.

A red alert means people should expect “significant disruption”, take precautionary action and remain “extra vigilant”.

The stormy weather has meant:

  • More than 80 flood warnings and more than 70 flood alerts are in place in northern England
  • Cumbria Police have declared a “major incident”, with homes in Appleby and Keswick evacuated and many roads blocked
  • More than 80 flood warnings and alerts are in place in Scotland, and some main roads closed due to landslides and flooding
  • More than 190 homes in North Yorkshire have been left with without electricity
  • Properties in Hawick, in the Scottish Borders, have been evacuated over concerns about the River Teviot
  • The postponement of several Scottish sports fixtures
  • Gusts of 85mph winds have been recorded in Wales and about 700 homes are without power
  • In counties Down and Tyrone, in Northern Ireland, roads were closed due to fallen trees
  • Train companies have warned of “major disruption” in northern England, while road restrictions are in place in certain areas

BBC Weather forecasters warn of major impact over the next 24 hours across parts of northern England and Scotland, adding up to 250-300mm of rain could fall in isolated areas and levels could be “exceptional”.

Up to 60mm to 100mm is likely in areas with amber warnings, with some mountainous areas seeing in excess of 150mm over a 30-hour period.

The main impact of the storm will cease by Sunday morning, but forecasters say flood warnings could remain in place due to high river levels.

The Environment Agency, covering England and Wales, currently has more than 90 flood warnings, mainly in northern England but also for parts of Wales and the Midlands.

Severe flood warnings have been put in place for River Eden, at Appleby, the River Greta, near Keswick, and the River Kent, at Kendal.

The two further severe flood warnings have been issued for North East, at the River Tyne, in Corbridge, while the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued two severe warnings.

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