UK weather: Rain warnings as flooding hits roads and rail

UK weather: Rain warnings as flooding hits roads and rail
Media caption,

Flooding across the South East has caused problems for commuters

Parts of the UK are braced for further flooding, as heavy rain and strong winds continue to sweep across Britain.

Yellow weather warnings for rain are in force across the north-east of England and eastern Scotland – while a more severe amber warning has been issued for north-east Scotland for Friday.

The “atrocious” weather has already seen widespread travel disruption – with some commuters stranded.

More than 175 flood warnings and alerts are in place in England and Scotland.

Met Office meteorologist Tom Morgan said amber warning areas such as Aberdeen would experience more than 100mm of rain.

On Thursday evening, the Met Office said more than half a month’s worth of rain had fallen in some areas in the last 24 hours. Low Laithes in West Yorkshire saw 53mm (2.1in) of rain and 50mm (1.97in) fell in Tealby, Lincolnshire.

Under the yellow warnings – which stretch across Manchester, Leeds, Hull and Newcastle until 07: 00 on Friday, and across Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee until 18: 00 – forecasters say there could be flooding and delays to buses and trains.

The amber warning, which lasts until 15: 00 on Friday for areas further north, says there could be a danger to life from fast flowing or deep floodwater, and some communities could be cut off.

Aberdeen City Council, which has cancelled its Christmas tree lights switch-on event because of the weather forecast, has urged residents in flood-prone areas to stock up on sandbags and other flood-prevention tools.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

Vehicles were left stranded in floodwater from the River Adur near Shermanbury in West Sussex

ScotRail said it was putting 40mph speed restrictions on some services as “over a month’s worth of rain” is expected to fall across eastern Scotland over the next two days.

Lines affected include parts of the routes from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, Stirling to Dundee and Ladybank to Perth.

Fyvie Castle, a National Trust property in Aberdeenshire, has decided to close its grounds as a result of the “heavy rain and high winds forecast”.

Travellers have already faced widespread disruption this week due to the weather, with some road and rail passengers stranded as routes were blocked by flooding.

Kate Priest, from Shoreham, a coastal town in West Sussex, did not get home until 02: 50 GMT on Thursday morning – five hours later than expected, after severe flooding blocked the train line from London.

She said she and her fellow passengers spent three hours stuck at Haywards Heath station in the pouring rain, before the Southern train retraced its steps and eventually took a different line to the coast.

“People were kind of frustrated and resigned,” she added. “Obviously there’s not a lot you can do. One lady was really distressed, she had some kind of appointment. She was in tears but the train guard was lovely.” The disruption has since cleared.

Motorists have also been urged to stay off roads in areas that faced heavy rain.

Some rail lines have been impacted and authorities in West Sussex have urged people to “only travel if necessary” after 20 cars became stuck on the A27.

Heavy rain flooded the railway in parts of Yorkshire on Thursday causing disruption to routes between Pontefract Monkhill and Wakefield Kirkgate, as well as between Harrogate and Leeds.

Chris Fawkes, Broadcast Meteorologist for the BBC

The first half of November has seen more than double the average amount of rainfall across south-east England with an additional 50mm (1.97in) of rain in places over the last 24 hours.

This rain, falling on already saturated ground, has led to some flooding issues, with road and railway links affected.

Weather warnings have already been issued by the Met Office, with an amber warning in place for heavy rain across parts of eastern Scotland.

There could be some further localised flooding as a slow-moving band of rain gradually pushes across eastern England and eastern Scotland over the next day or two, with up to 100mm (3.9in) of rain possible across the hills of Aberdeenshire and Angus.

The weather pattern then stays very unsettled with more rain bands crossing the UK over the weekend and next week.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

Commuters wait at a bus stop in the rain on Thursday in London

Craig Snell from the Met Office said many places in south-east England have already seen “more than their month’s share of rain”.

“The warning areas are where we are most concerned about the risk of flooding but it doesn’t mean that the areas outside them are not going to see some pretty atrocious conditions.”

He said Scotland could see “two days of persistent rain” and this may result in snow falling in the Scottish Highlands – although this is not unusual for November.

The Environment Agency said it had been closely monitoring the situation and advised people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive though flood water.

Flood duty manager Chris Wilding said the heavy rain across England was “expected to lead to minor surface water flooding and river flooding impacts”.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

Floodwaters from the River Adur near Shermanbury in West Sussex

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