Northern Ireland

Heavy rain set to hit areas still reeling from Storm Babet as new warning issued

Flood barriers along Ironbridge over the River Severn in Shropshire (Nick Potts/PA)
Flood barriers along Ironbridge over the River Severn in Shropshire (Nick Potts/PA) Flood barriers along Ironbridge over the River Severn in Shropshire (Nick Potts/PA)

A fresh weather warning for rain has been issued covering a vast swathe of England already hit by flooding as a result of Storm Babet.

The Met Office issued the yellow warning for “heavy rain” which could lead to further flooding in the East Midlands, including Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, as well as much of Yorkshire, including Sheffield, Leeds and York, and Humberside.

It comes after Storm Babet left at least four people dead and hundreds more homeless, with about 1,250 properties in England flooded, the Environment Agency (EA) said.

First Minister Humza Yousaf speaking to staff from Matrix International during a visit to Brechin, Scotland.
First Minister Humza Yousaf speaking to staff from Matrix International during a visit to Brechin, Scotland. First Minister Humza Yousaf speaking to staff from Matrix International during a visit to Brechin (Andrew Milligan/PA)

An estimated 30,000 properties have needed protection against rising water levels, the EA said.

A total of 13 areas broke their daily rainfall records for October last week, including sites in Suffolk, South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Wiltshire, Kincardineshire, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Northumberland, Derbyshire and Humberside, the Met Office said.

Anna Calder, spokeswoman for the EA, said significant river flooding impacts will continue for parts of the Midlands until Friday, with minor impacts continuing in parts of the Midlands and the north-east of England until Wednesday.

Significant river flooding is also possible but not expected in parts of England on Tuesday and Wednesday, with minor impacts possible more widely, due to further heavy rainfall falling on sensitive catchments.

The Met Office warning, which is in place for between 3am and 4pm on Tuesday, stated: “There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded, causing damage to some buildings.

“There is a small chance of fast-flowing or deep floodwater causing danger to life.

Autumn weather October 23rd 2023
Autumn weather October 23rd 2023 Queen’s Drive Park & Ride in Nottingham, closed due to flooding, after Storm Babet battered the UK (Callum Parke/PA)

“There is a small chance that some communities will become cut off by flooded roads.”

The latest warning comes after 83-year-old Maureen Gilbert was found dead in her flooded home in Tapton Terrace, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, on Saturday morning.

Mrs Gilbert’s neighbours said 5ft of water had engulfed the inside of their properties “within minutes” of the River Rother bursting its banks.

Asked if flood defences were adequate, Ms Calder said the EA has been “working around the clock with its partners to help reduce this risk”.

A general view of Tapton Terrace in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, showing the property where Maureen Gilbert, 83, was found dead on Saturday evening.
A general view of Tapton Terrace in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, showing the property where Maureen Gilbert, 83, was found dead on Saturday evening. A general view of Tapton Terrace in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, showing the property where Maureen Gilbert, 83, was found dead on Saturday (Matthew Cooper/PA)

She added: “We’ve put barriers up to help protect communities as well as employing pumps in key locations.”

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf visited Brechin, Angus, on Monday morning, where the storm hit hardest, with the River South Esk bursting its banks and flooding dozens of homes.

During the visit, Mr Yousaf said there will be a “long road to recovery” for those impacted by Storm Babet.

He said the local council would receive the funding it needs to recover. But he warned that any clean-up after the flooding would likely take time.

A woman who died after being swept into the Water of Lee, Glen Esk, on Thursday has been named as Wendy Taylor, 57.

Mrs Taylor, who was described as “the beloved wife, best friend and soulmate in life to George, mother to James, Sally and Susanna and Granny to India and George”, was said to be “a ray of sunshine for everyone who was fortunate enough to know her” in a tribute issued through Police Scotland.

Autumn weather October 23rd 2023
Autumn weather October 23rd 2023 Flooded football pitches at Nottingham Power League in Thane Road (Callum Parke/PA)

Derby City Council said record-breaking water levels had been seen in the River Derwent and warned cleaning up after the floods could take several days.

A 56-year-old driver died when a tree fell on his van near Forfar in Angus on Thursday while a man in his 60s died after getting caught in fast-flowing floodwater in the town of Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, on Friday.

Waterside Perth saw a provisional total of 203.6mm of rain fall between midnight on Thursday and 6pm on Saturday, Invermark saw a provisional 178.2mm and Charr in Kincardineshire had 183.6mm, the Met Office said.

The average October rainfall in Angus for October is 124.79mm and it is 115.57mm in Kincardineshire.

Unsettled weather will continue this week but it will be “nowhere near as impactful as last week”, Nicky Maxey, spokesperson for the Met Office said.

She said: “On Monday northern areas will be mostly dry with sunny spells, there will be showers in the South West and Northern Ireland, and heavy rain on the Isles of Scilly.”

Tuesday will be mainly dry but there will be outbreaks of rain which will push northwards through the day, although the North West will probably stay dry, the forecaster added.