UK weather warning: Boris holds emergency COBRA meeting as UK braces for horrendous storm

Storm Christoph: UK set for heavy showers and snow

The Prime Minister told the House of Commons during PMQs: “Our sympathies also go out to those affected by the latest floods.

“I want to thank the Environment Agency and our emergency services for the work they’re doing to support those communities, and I’ll be chairing a Cobra meeting later on to co-ordinate the national response.”

Communities are bracing themselves for major flooding, with major incidents already declared in Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire after amber and yellow weather warnings were issued for the storm.

Torrential rain has battered large parts of the country with more than 120mm in several areas, while 123.4mm had fallen at Honister Pass in Cumbria in the 24 hours up to 6am on Wednesday.

In nearby Seathwaite, 107.2mm had fallen in the period, with the Met Office warning some isolated spots could see up to 200mm.

More than 50 warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency across England, with 179 less severe flood alerts.

Almost all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been issued yellow weather warnings until midday on Thursday.

There is also a more serious amber weather warning in place for an area stretching from the East Midlands to the Lake District.

On Monday evening, South Yorkshire declared a major incident amid fears of huge flooding to hit the region, with Greater Manchester Police taking the same stop just hours later.

The force has urged anyone impacted to leave their flooded homes if instructed, even with the stay-at-home guidance from the Government for the coronavirus pandemic still in place.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey said: “Coronavirus remains a threat to everyone’s health and people should not leave their homes unless it is absolutely essential.

“But where there is a risk of flooding, that is clearly essential and we’re working with our partners to ensure that people can do this as safely as possible.”

On Wednesday morning, residents in West Yorkshire were rushing to prepare for rising floodwaters, with people living in towns in the Calder Valley laying out sandbags and flood wardens monitoring water levels.

The Met Office has warned the country will continue to be hit by both heavy rain and some snow.

Meteorologist Grahame Madge said: “While rain remains the main hazard in the south, further north we’ve got snow and ice remaining a risk.

“The system will work its way through, we are expecting significant totals of rainfall and when you combine that with snowmelt it can lead to localised flooding across the affected regions.”

Mr Madge said as the week continues and Storm Christoph travels east, the risk of snow will increase.

He said: “When Christoph starts to move into the North Sea we will start to see more northerly influence coming in, we’re going to have a feed of colder air which will bring in wintry showers.

“Over higher ground to begin with but increasingly those events will be to lower levels as well and that could lead to some accumulations in Scotland, northern England and parts of Northern Ireland.”

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued two flood alerts – one in the Borders and the other in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Scottish Borders Council emergency planning officer Jim Fraser said: “The next couple of days are going to bring further challenging weather conditions for the Borders, first in the form of heavy rain and then snow.

“With already saturated ground, we are closely monitoring the situation and liaising with our Sepa and Met Office colleagues around the potential for localised flooding, particularly later today and into Wednesday.

“The council is well prepared and able to respond to any issues that do occur over the coming days to support our communities, but please play your part and take notice of the warning and take action where required.”


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