The Environment Agency is urging communities along the west and south coasts of England, especially communities along the River Severn and Wye in Gloucestershire, to remain vigilant and continue to prepare for flooding with many flood warnings remain in place.
Throughout Friday morning, 10 severe flood warnings for the tidal River Severn, Severn Estuar and River Wye in Gloucestershire have been in place for Storm Eunice, which has brought strong winds across the UK. This has caused high waves and a storm surge which, combined with high tides, has the potential to cause significant flooding
So far, Environment Agency defences have already protected over 18,000 properties from flooding over the past 24 hours.
Whilst the severe flood warnings have now been lifted, as of 13:45, there are 48 flood warnings in place, meaning that flooding is expected, and 102 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is likely.
The Environment Agency has been working over the past week to prepare for the reasonable worst case impacts of Storm Eunice, planning for all scenarios to help keep communities and people safe.
Teams have been out on the ground to erect barriers and clear screens to help mitigate potential flooding impacts. Flood gates have been closed along the tidal River Severn, the south west of England and other affected areas.
Members of the public are also being urged to sign up for free flood warnings and ensure they know what to do in case of flooding.
Stefan Laeger, the Environment Agency’s Flood Duty Manager, said:
The public should continue to take extreme caution as ongoing impacts of Storm Eunice have resulted in a storm surge and large waves which could bring potentially severe coastal flooding to parts of the west and south coasts of England today, as well as the tidal Rivers Severn and Wye in Gloucestershire . Further spells of heavy rain are expected this weekend which will also bring the potential for inland flooding.
Environment Agency teams remain out on the ground closing gates and clearing screens where flood debris can build up, and stand ready to operate further flood defences if needed. Barriers are in place and flood gates remain shut on the north and south coasts of Devon and Cornwall. Working with our partners in local resilience forums, we are planning for emergency response to keep people safe where flooding does occur.
We have made significant investment in flood defences across the country, better protecting 314,000 homes since 2015. 18,000 properties have been protected by defences in affected areas so far but we urge caution as flood risk continues.
Please remember to take extreme care on coastal paths and promenades. We urge people to stay safe on the coast and warn wave watchers against the unnecessary danger of taking ‘storm selfies’. Flooding of low lying coastal roads is also possible and people should avoid driving through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.
Type ‘check my flood risk’ online to sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date, follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood information or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen said:
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After the impacts from Storm Dudley for many on Wednesday, Storm Eunice will bring damaging gusts in what could be one of the most impactful storms to affect southern and central parts of the UK for a few years.
The red warning areas indicate a significant danger to life as extremely strong winds provide the potential for damage to structures and flying debris. Although the most exposed coastal areas could see gusts in excess of 90mph, winds will remain notably strong further inland, with gusts of between 60-70mph for most within the amber warning area, and up to 80mph in a few places.