The biggest news in Britain the last few days has been the terrible storms that just do not seem to be letting up. It has not only affected travel, but it is causing flooding in a number of areas. Some people have been forced to leave their homes as more than 70 flood warnings have been issued all across the country. Minsters are warning people to avoid driving in standing water on the roadways because the water may be deeper than what it appears.
Ministers are also telling people to stay away from the coast. Britain’s coast is being hammered by gale-force winds coming from the Atlantic. This, combined with high tides, is causing a lot of flooding on both the western and southern coasts. Waves are crashing against the coast and are strong enough to cause serious damage.
To make matters worse, rain continues to fall, which means that more flooding is likely before it is all over. The ground is already completely saturated in Northern Ireland and Scotland. However, forecasters say that more rain is expected, and with it will be more flood warnings.
The number of severe warnings has also increased in the South West. Here, the Environment Agency has issued nine severe warnings. These warnings indicate severe flooding is putting lives at risk. People in this area need to leave before the flooding gets any worse. People who live in this area have already been warned.
Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, has already called for a meeting of the Government’s Cobra Emergency Committee. This group will meet in London and will work with power companies to make sure that they keep the lights on in Britain. Due to the bad weather, the loss of power is a huge concern right now.
So far, the government has estimated that some 150,000 homes have been cut off from power due to gale-force winds, flooding and the onslaught of rain. These forces of nature have caused a lot of damage to the power network in certain areas. The government wants to know what the power companies need to get everything back up and running.
For Friday, the Met Office is predicting winds of at least 60 mph coming in from the Atlantic. Although these winds are not as bad as what was seen in December, they are strong enough to cause some high tides and maybe some more power outages. The areas that really need to be on the lookout include Devon, the Isles of Scilly and Cornwall.
Paterson added that they have just called in a Cobra meeting due to the continuing bad weather. They are going to work hard for some kind of way that they can battle the large amount of rain, gale-force winds and high tides. A number of ministers from all across the country will be attending this meeting to give their input.