Heavy rain and flood-hit areas left reeling by Storm Babet

UK's Met Office issues yellow weather warning as flood-hit regions prepare for fresh deluge

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A yellow weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for parts of the UK, with another deluge of rain expected to last until 4pm on Tuesday.

The warning highlights the possibility of heavy rain, raising the risk of further flooding in regions where Storm Babet caused so much damage.

Areas in England likely to be affected include the East Midlands, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Humberside.

The storm has claimed at least seven lives and caused extensive flooding, leaving hundreds homeless and about 1,250 properties in England partially submerged.

Among the victims were Wendy Taylor, 57, who was swept away by floodwaters, and Maureen Gilbert, 83, who was found dead in her flooded home in Derbyshire.

A fatal accident involving several vehicles on the M4 and other weather-related incidents further contributed to the mounting death toll.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said that reports of flooding submitted to the Environment Agency had reached their highest level since the 2015-2016 season.

The agency issued more than 300 flood warnings and received more than 1,800 calls to its flood hotline, Ms Pow told the Commons.

Storm Babet batters the UK and Europe

Storm Babet batters the UK and Europe

Several regions, including Suffolk, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, broke their daily October rainfall records.

Forecasts for the coming days suggest that the rainy weather will continue to pose a challenge.

Met Office meteorologist Rachel Ayers said that while the expected heavy rain was not directly associated with Storm Babet, regions affected by the storm’s flooding could experience additional downpours.

Ms Ayers said a few places, most likely Lincolnshire and Humberside, could receive 30mm to 50mm of rain while southern England and Wales could experience 10mm to 20mm.

She said there will be “some respite” across Scotland on Tuesday after its battering by the storm.

“We will see some heavy rain in areas affected by flooding during Storm Babet, though the worst impacted areas in Scotland will remain mostly dry on Tuesday,” Ms Ayers said.

“Within the warning area we could see some travel disruption due to spray and flooding on roads. There is a small chance of fast-flowing or deep floodwater causing danger to life, or that some communities could be cut off due to flooded roads.”

After Storm Babet, efforts are being made to mitigate the impact and risks of flooding, she said.

Residents demand protective action

Residents in a Nottinghamshire town hit hard by floods caused by Storm Babet have said they are angered by the lack of action taken to protect them and their homes.

Homeowners in Darrel Road in Retford, 48km north of Nottingham, were evacuated in the early hours of Saturday because of rising water from the River Idle.

Some have since returned to their properties but have said more should have been done to protect against the elements.

They have also criticised a visit by the Environment Secretary, Therese Coffey, who visited on Monday, with one resident describing it as an attempt to “polish her halo”.

Kevin Maunder, 72, said it had flooded almost every year of the 48 he had lived in the street but this year was the worst he had seen, with the grandfather of four raising concerns for the future and the impact of climate change.

“This year has been the worst year there’s ever been. It’s the first year it’s come across the road, but it’s progressively over the last number of years got worse, it’s come higher and higher up into the houses opposite and on to the street,” he said.

“This year was a one-off event so they say, but I don’t believe it will be a one-off event.

“Planning for the future has got to be done. It’s never been in my house before. It’s never been in a lot of the houses on this side of the street before.

“The world is changing; the climate is changing. It’s about time people started thinking.

“I’m thinking not for today, not for tomorrow, but thinking for my grandkids, thinking for the future.”

Updated: October 24, 2023, 10:58 AM