Forecasters warn of travel disruption as 'Storm Dennis' heads towards Britain

11 February 2020, 05:51 | Updated: 12 February 2020, 20:50

Snow and ice warnings are in effect
Snow and ice warnings are in effect. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Warnings for snow, ice and wind have been issued across large parts of the UK as the country tries to recover from the "storm of the century".

Forecasters have issued several yellow weather warnings as the impact of Storm Ciara continues to wreak havoc to some impacted communities.

Predicted heavy rain could also run the risk of further flooding, with 43 warnings still in place in England, six in Scotland and one in Wales following recent heavy rainfall.

In addition to this, gusts of 50mph are expected, with more than 60mph possible over hills, coastal areas and exposed locations, the Met Office said.

Around 730 properties are believed to have been affected by flooding in recent days, the Environment Agency said as it warned of more wet weather ahead when Dennis takes hold.

Further bad weather could also be on the way this weekend with more strong winds, rain and snow forecast. The next named storm of the year would be Storm Dennis.

High winds and heavy rains have given way to snow and ice as authorities warn of injuries from slips and falls and travel delays.

The Met Office has issued warnings for snow across parts of the Midlands and eastern England, where flurries are already being reported. 

Chief meteorologist Steve Ramsdale said: "Another spell of very wet and windy weather is expected for Saturday.

"Although Storm Dennis is currently not expected to be as severe as Ciara, disruption is still likely."

On Monday night, the Government activated an emergency financial aid package for areas devastated by the storm.

Caroline Douglass, flood duty manager at the agency, said: "River and surface water flooding is possible on Saturday into Sunday due to Storm Dennis and we are advising people to check their flood risk and to stay safe on the coast or when walking or driving near swollen rivers."

She also warned people against taking "dangerous" so-called storm selfies.

Met Office meteorologist Bonnie Diamond said: "Storm Ciara has cleared but it is still windy. There is the risk of snow and ice depending on where you are.

"There is very much hazardous weather still around."

Britain was battered by Storm Ciara overt the weekend
Britain was battered by Storm Ciara overt the weekend. Picture: PA

A yellow weather warning for snow was issued for parts of the Midlands and eastern England and snow began to fall across the north Midlands and the south Pennines on Monday afternoon.

A yellow warning for heavy snow and strong winds is in place for Northern Ireland and most of Scotland, while a yellow warning of snow and ice is in force for north-west England on Tuesday.

There is also a yellow snow and ice warning covering these regions on Wednesday, as snow showers and icy stretches could cause further disruption.

Forecasters said some areas could see blizzards with up to 20cm of snow.

There were also 70 flood warnings in place across England as of 3am on Tuesday.

Western Power Distribution - which covers the Midlands, the South West and South Wales - said more than 800 homes were still without power early on Tuesday morning, following outages caused by Ciara on Sunday.

UK Power Networks also said it had about 2,000 properties across the east of England without a supply, while Electricity North West also reported power cuts.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "I have activated the emergency Bellwin scheme to support communities affected by Storm Ciara in West Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire."

Under the Bellwin scheme, local authorities dealing with the effects of the storm can apply to have some of their costs reimbursed by the Government.

This could be for items including rest centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers told MPs more than 500 properties are believed to have been flooded during Storm Ciara, with the number expected to rise further.

She told the Commons: "Particularly severe impacts have been felt in Yorkshire along the River Calder, in Lancashire along the River Ribble, in Great Manchester along the Irwell and in Appleby on the Eden."

"The latest number of properties confirmed to have been flooded are 40 in Cumbria, 100 in Lancashire, 150 in Greater Manchester and 260 in Yorkshire.

"We urge people in at-risk areas to remain vigilant, not to take unnecessary risks and to sign-up to receive Environment Agency flood alerts."

Rail users were hit on Monday while those attempting to fly to and from UK airports were also subject to delays and cancellations due to the bad weather.

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