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‘Immediate action’ flood warnings across England as winds top 100mph

Written by on 27 December 2020

More than a hundred “immediate action” flood warnings are in place in England after winds of over 70mph hit southern coasts overnight.

There has been some “fairly major weather”, Sky News presenter Jo Wheeler said, adding that torrential rain brought by Storm Bella had created an extra risk of flooding.

Parts of Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire have been badly affected, with some people forced to evacuate their homes due to the floods.

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Drone shots show flooding in Bedford

On Saturday night, a maximum wind speed of 106mph (170kmh) was recorded at the Needles lighthouse on the Isle of Wight.

Aberdaron in north Wales saw gusts of up to 83mph (133kmh), while winds reached the mid-70s in many southern coastal areas.

Wheeler said there would be “ongoing impacts from Storm Bella as rivers continue to rise”, with 115 “immediate action required” flood warnings in place across England on Sunday morning.

Flood water surrounds The Barn Hotel in Bedford
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Floodwater around the The Barn Hotel in Bedford

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Caravan site residents forced to sleep in their cars

Two severe “danger to life” flood warnings are also in force in Northamptonshire – at Cogenhoe Mill caravan site and on the River Nene near Billing Aquadrome.

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The wild weather should ease however. A Met Office amber warning for wind, covering Wales and southern England, ended at 9am on Sunday.

Rain should also clear through the morning and winds will become lighter from the west.

High water from the River Ouse in the village of Harrold in Bedfordshire
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The River Ouse has also caused flooding in the village of Harrold in Bedfordshire
Swans swim in flood water in Worcester
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Swans swim in flood water in Worcester

Looking ahead, the Met Office has three yellow warnings for snow and ice for Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England, covering two different time periods, until 10am on Monday.

Scotland is likely to see “persistent rain, sleet and snow” on Sunday evening, with 5 to 10cm of snow by Monday morning on higher ground, and up to 3cm at lower levels.

There could also be a slight covering of snow for the Chilterns, the Cotswolds and possibly the Salisbury plains.

Later on Monday, rain, sleet and snow will move across the Midlands towards the London area.

The Environment Agency has asked people to keep away from swollen rivers and flooded land, while Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick urged people to heed their advice.