Britain braced for flooding misery as storm could unleash two months of rain in three days

BBC Weather: Warnings issued for floods in parts of the UK

Torrential downpours from Storm Christoph will fall on ground which has already been heavily saturated. A rapid thaw of recent snowfall will also add to the danger of floods amid fears life could be endangered. Swathes of northern, central and eastern England have been warned to batten down the hatches and prepare for “significant flooding”.

Millions of people in cities could be affected as the Met Office has put amber warnings in place for Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham and Peterborough.

It says that homes and businesses are likely to be flooded, and fast flowing or deep flood water could cause a danger to life.

The warning means there is also a possibility of travel delays, road and rail closures and power cuts.

People in flood-prone areas have been told to prepare to evacuate.

Eleven flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency, indicating that flooding is expected.

There have also been 61 alerts, indicating possible flooding, with the River Ouse in York bursting its banks and water levels in the River Witham, near Grantham, also rising.

The number of warnings were expected to rise as the storm is due to hit at 6am. Met Office chief meteorologist Dan Suri said: “Following a cold spell where the main hazard was snow, our focus now turns to notably heavy rain moving across the UK this week.

“Some locations could see over 100mm of rain falling through the course of just a couple of days with up to 200mm possible over higher ground.

“These amounts of rainfall along with snow melt present a real threat of flooding and people should keep a close eye on flood warnings from the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales.

“Meanwhile, colder air coming southwards into the weather system brings the risk of further snow on the back edge of this system.

“Temperatures will gradually fall across the UK through the end of the week and into the weekend bringing a return to widespread overnight frosts.”

Katharine Smith, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, added: “Heavy and persistent rain falling on already saturated ground with snowmelt in parts of northern, central and eastern England is expected to bring significant river and surface water flooding, and could cause damage to buildings in some communities.

“Flooding could continue to affect parts of central, eastern and northern England into Friday, with localised flooding of land and
roads a possibility elsewhere…on Wednesday and Thursday.”

Motorists are being urged to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water, as just 1ft (30mm) of flowing water can be enough to float a car.

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