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Met Office: Evidence 'suggests climate change link to storms'

 

Climate change is likely to be a factor in the extreme weather that has hit much of the UK in recent months, the Met Office's chief scientist has said. Dame Julia Slingo said the variable UK climate meant there was "no definitive answer" to what caused the storms. "But all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change," she added. "There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events." More than 130 severe flood warnings - indicating a threat to life - have been issued since December. In contrast, there were only nine in the whole of 2012. More than 5,000 properties have been flooded over this period, although the Environment Agency says investment in flood defences over the past decade has protected a further 1.3 million properties.

 

'Exceptional'

 

Speaking ahead of the launch of a Met Office report - produced by the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology - into recent climatic events, Dame Julia said the UK had seen the "most exceptional period of rainfall in 248 years". Unsettled weather at this time of year was not unexpected - but the prolonged spell of rain, as well as the intensity and height of coastal waves, was "very unusual". "We have records going back to 1766 and we have nothing like this," she said. "We have seen some exceptional weather. We can't say it is unprecedented but it is exceptional." The report links the recent extreme weather in Europe and North America to "perturbations" in the North Atlantic and Pacific jet streams, partly emanating from changing weather patterns in South East Asia and "associated with higher than normal ocean temperatures in that region". "The attribution of these changes to anthropogenic [caused by humans] global warming requires climate models of sufficient resolution to capture storms and their associated rainfall," it says.

 

'Makes sense'

 

"Such models are now becoming available and should be deployed as soon as possible to provide a solid evidence base for future investments in flood and coastal defences." David Cameron has said the UK must be prepared for more extreme weather. At Prime Minister's Questions last month, Mr Cameron said he "suspected" that the recent storms to batter the UK and the extreme weather in North America were connected to global temperature changes - an argument challenged by some Conservative MPs and peers. He subsequently clarified the remarks, saying that although "you can't point to one weather event and say that is climate change", many scientists were talking of a link between the two. "The point I was really trying to make is, whatever you think - even if you think that (climate change) is mumbo-jumbo - because these things are happening more often, it makes sense to do all you can to... prevent these floods affecting so many people and that is exactly what we are doing."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26084625

Edited by Summer Sun

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Eric Pickles: 'We should have dredged'

 

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles says the government "made a mistake" and should have dredged the flood-hit Somerset Levels.

 

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, he apologised "unreservedly" to those affected by the flooding.

 

But he refused to "nudge" Lord Smith of Finsbury out of his position as head of the Environment Agency.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26107514

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very very interesting. Sheer negligence, the sluice gates were never opened and they could have been operational for 12 hours a day, letting a torrent of water out to the sea

 

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Met Office: Evidence 'suggests climate change link to storms'

 

Climate change is likely to be a factor in the extreme weather that has hit much of the UK in recent months, the Met Office's chief scientist has said. Dame Julia Slingo said the variable UK climate meant there was "no definitive answer" to what caused the storms. "But all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change," she added. "There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events." More than 130 severe flood warnings - indicating a threat to life - have been issued since December. In contrast, there were only nine in the whole of 2012. More than 5,000 properties have been flooded over this period, although the Environment Agency says investment in flood defences over the past decade has protected a further 1.3 million properties.

 

'Exceptional'

 

Speaking ahead of the launch of a Met Office report - produced by the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology - into recent climatic events, Dame Julia said the UK had seen the "most exceptional period of rainfall in 248 years". Unsettled weather at this time of year was not unexpected - but the prolonged spell of rain, as well as the intensity and height of coastal waves, was "very unusual". "We have records going back to 1766 and we have nothing like this," she said. "We have seen some exceptional weather. We can't say it is unprecedented but it is exceptional." The report links the recent extreme weather in Europe and North America to "perturbations" in the North Atlantic and Pacific jet streams, partly emanating from changing weather patterns in South East Asia and "associated with higher than normal ocean temperatures in that region". "The attribution of these changes to anthropogenic [caused by humans] global warming requires climate models of sufficient resolution to capture storms and their associated rainfall," it says.

 

'Makes sense'

 

"Such models are now becoming available and should be deployed as soon as possible to provide a solid evidence base for future investments in flood and coastal defences." David Cameron has said the UK must be prepared for more extreme weather. At Prime Minister's Questions last month, Mr Cameron said he "suspected" that the recent storms to batter the UK and the extreme weather in North America were connected to global temperature changes - an argument challenged by some Conservative MPs and peers. He subsequently clarified the remarks, saying that although "you can't point to one weather event and say that is climate change", many scientists were talking of a link between the two. "The point I was really trying to make is, whatever you think - even if you think that (climate change) is mumbo-jumbo - because these things are happening more often, it makes sense to do all you can to... prevent these floods affecting so many people and that is exactly what we are doing."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26084625

 

Feline among the feral rock doves?

 

What with prime ministers linking it , Presidents of the USA linking it whatever next? The general public linking it? Naw......... let's get real here (LOL)

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Feline among the feral rock doves?

 

What with prime ministers linking it , Presidents of the USA linking it whatever next? The general public linking it? Naw......... let's get real here (LOL)

I think the general public of the UK would be more inclined to *LINK* things (as you put it) if they were told BEFORE they actually happen and not AFTER.

 

Did the METO forecast this very wet and windy winter back in the Autumn? I think not, because if they had of done Cameron would have had all his COBRA meetings back then.

 

So what happens IF next winter ends up being very cold and dry with hardly a breath of wind, would that also be *LINKED* to climate change?

 

One swallow does not make a summer and one very wet and windy winter does not make a pattern. come back after 10 or more winters and see then.......................

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Weather: UK Braced For More Storms And Floods

 

The ferocious storms and torrential downpours that have battered Britain are set to continue for days, heaping misery on flood victims and coastal areas. Forecasters have warned there will be little respite from hurricane-force winds and lashing rain that have seen hundreds of people forced from their homes by flooding and the South West completely cut off from the rest of the country by rail. Speaking to Sky News, communities secretary Eric Pickles pointedly refused to back Environment Agency chief Lord Smith.

 

His organisation has been criticised for not doing enough to prevent flooding. Meanwhile UKIP leader Nigel Farage told the Murnaghan programme that some of Britain's overseas aid budget should be diverted to flood victims as a gesture by the Government. There are almost 500 flood warnings and alerts in place for southern and central England and Wales, while hundreds of homes in Dorset, Surrey and Cornwall have been left without power.

 

In Chertsey, Surrey, where the River Thames burst its banks, a seven-year-old boy died and 17 people were taken to hospital after falling ill. Police said flooding in the town was "one line of inquiry" being pursued as they investigate the tragedy. Prime Minister David Cameron will chair an emergency Cobra meeting later today as ministers and Environment Agency bosses face ongoing criticism over their response to the severe weather.

 

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said an extra 1,600 military personnel are on standby and ready to be deployed across southern parts of the country if required.  He told Sky News: "The army is ready for deployment and we have an agreed strategy for moving it out proportionately." Train operators have put on replacement bus services and cut ticket prices after landslips and floods blocked all routes to the South West.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1208817/weather-uk-braced-for-more-storms-and-floods

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Bushfires spark emergency alerts in south-east Australia

 

Dozens of bushfires are sweeping across southern Australia, fanned by hot weather and strong winds. Officials say an unknown number of homes have been destroyed and a firefighter has been injured in the state of Victoria. Some residents have been ordered to leave and flames have spread to the outer suburbs of Australia's second biggest city, Melbourne. Conditions in Victoria are at their worst since 2009, authorities said.  Then, wildfires killed 173 people and destroyed about 2,000 homes in a disaster dubbed Black Saturday. Emergency crews are also fighting blazes in South Australia and New South Wales. Cooler weather should help the massive firefighting effort, says the BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney, although strong, gusty winds continue to fan the flames. More than 70 fires are burning across Victoria and 15 emergency warnings are in effect, with up-to-date local information available on the Vic Emergency website.

 

Power station 'threat'

 

Hundreds of firefighters and dozens of fire engines are battling the blazes. Fire authorities are worried about the threat posed to the coal-fired 1,600-megawatt Hazlewood Power Station in Latrobe Valley, local media reported. Homes have been lost in the Melbourne suburbs of Warrandyte and Mickleham, and in Gisborne some 50km (30 miles) north-west of the city. Victoria Premier Denis Napthine said help was available for anyone impacted by the wildfires. "The Victorian government has an assistance package in place that will be rolled out immediately for those people who have lost their homes," Dr Napthine said.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-26107272

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BBC weather for the week ahead with Sarah Keith-LucasMore rainMore GalesTurning colder 

friday doesn't look to bad on that forecast

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UK floods: Severe flood warnings issued for Thames

 

Fourteen severe flood warnings have been issued along the River Thames in Berkshire and Surrey amid concern that people and property are at risk. The Environment Agency is also warning of rising water in the Somerset Levels, and there are flood fears in Worcester. Earlier, the communities secretary said ministers may have relied too much on the agency's advice and it had been a "mistake" not to dredge the Levels. But the agency said its "immediate priority" was to protect people. Two severe flood warnings remain in place in Somerset. The prime minister, who chaired a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee, tweeted: "With more flooding on the way, I made sure every resource is available to help."

 

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, who is in charge of the government's flood defence, said the government had relied too much on the Environment Agency's advice and the flood-hit Somerset Levels should have been dredged. "I apologise unreservedly and I'm really sorry that we took the advice, we thought we were dealing with experts." But as the agency increased the number of severe warnings from two to 16, it said it was putting all its energy and focus into protecting people and property until the danger has passed. It said the 14 severe "risk to life" warnings along the Thames in Berkshire and Surrey between Datchet and Shepperton Green were issued because river levels would continue to rise for at least 24 hours and homes were expected to flood. It also has more than 160 lesser flood warnings, the majority in the South East, the East, the Midlands and South West.

 

BBC News correspondent Ben Ando in Datchet said the Thames appeared to be rising and its levels were already higher than in 2003 when the area last experienced flooding. Armed forces are in the area building a 2ft-high (60cm) defence to try to divert the river away from homes. Tina McFarlane, 70, from the Buckinghamshire town of Marlow, which borders the Thames, said she was confined to the upstairs of her house and was without electricity. "I can't get out of the house as the water is too deep for my waders, and it's getting dangerous," she told the BBC. "It's not only the Somerset Levels that are suffering. We're feeling very isolated, no one is giving us any information."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26111598

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Floods Move East: Thousands Of Homes At Risk

 

Thousands of people living along the River Thames have been told to prepare for "significant flooding", as rising river levels move eastwards across southern UK. Towns and villages across the South and the South East are on alert, with the military drafted in to build emergency sandbag barriers in Datchet, Berkshire, along the banks of the River Thames. Further downstream in Wraysbury, a team of volunteer flood wardens have been helping to evacuate families. A number of rail lines have been flooded, with major disruption on some First Great Western, CrossCountry, Southeastern and South West Trains routes. Commuters have been warned to expect delays and cancellations for the rest of the week. Prime Minister David Cameron will visit flood-hit communities later, as the number of warnings and alerts issued by the Environment Agency nears the 400 mark.

 

Most of the 16 severe flooding warnings, meaning there is danger to life, have been issued for the Thames Valley area. The already swollen river is predicted to burst its banks in several places between Datchet and Shepperton Green, including Hamm Court and Chertsey in Surrey. Around 2,500 homes in the Thames Valley are at risk, according to the Environment Agency, which said river levels in the area "are extremely high and are forecast to continue to rise". Forecasters have warned there will be little respite from the hurricane-force winds and lashing rain that have seen hundreds of people forced from their homes in the South West, with another storm arriving Monday evening. The Met Office said river levels are expected to continue rising along the Thames, Severn and the Dorset Stour in the coming days. The Ministry of Defence has put 1,600 personnel on six hours' notice to help in the south of England.

 

Two other severe flood warnings remain in the South West, which has seen significant flooding especially on the Somerset Levels. Another 20,000 sandbags are ready to be deployed to communities in the area. Lieutenant Commander Paul Barker, in charge of the engineers in Datchet, told Sky News: "This is looking like an enduring task. Currently these engineers have been on task all day and will be working into the night. This is a real task because the water is rising."

Somerset County Council leader John Osman said: "Our main aim is to keep residents and their property as safe as possible. "We are working tirelessly 24/7 to ensure residents are safe, our roads are as clear as they can be in these difficult circumstances, schools are open, school buses can operate and vulnerable people receive the care and services they need."

 

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "Military personnel, currently mostly Royal Marines, continue to provide support in Somerset in areas affected by floods as part of cross-Government and multi-agency relief efforts." The Thames Barrier is expected to remain closed throughout the day to protect homes and businesses in London. Mr Cameron chaired an emergency Cobra meeting on Sunday night, during which he "made clear again that every resource is available to the local communities affected".

 

Network Rail has warned that train lines in the Thames Valley are at risk of flooding as flood waters move east down the river. It has been told to do "whatever it takes" to restore badly disrupted rail links, which earlier saw the South West cut off entirely. Meanwhile, a search is under way for a kayaker - a man in his 30s - who went missing in the River Usk at Llangynidr in Powys, Mid Wales, on Sunday lunchtime while with a group of friends. Dyfed-Powys Police, the Welsh Ambulance Service, Brecon Mountain Rescue Team and the coastguard are involved in the search.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1209110/floods-move-east-thousands-of-homes-at-risk

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UK floods: Thames reaches record water levels

 

Several water gauges along the River Thames have measured record levels as flood waters continue to rise. Fourteen severe flood warnings are in place along a stretch of the river in Berkshire and Surrey, with police warning 2,500 Surrey homes are at risk. The Environment Agency is also warning of rising water in the Somerset Levels. The agency's chairman, Lord Smith, has hit back at critics, saying that his staff knew "100 times" more about flooding than any politician.

 

Speaking in the wake of comments by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, Lord Smith said his agency was "bound by the rules" of politicians. He said: "I have kept my counsel up to now, but when I hear someone criticising the expertise and the professionalism of my staff in the Environment Agency, who know 100 times more about flood risk management than any politician ever does, I'm afraid I'm not going to sit idly by. "The Environment Agency is bound by the rules that are laid down by government." Forecasters said Monday would be the driest day of the week but rivers could continue to rise as previous rainfall worked its way downstream. Several Thames gauges are currently showing their highest levels since being installed in the 1980s and 90s.

 

As well as the Environment Agency's 14 severe warnings - meaning "danger to life" - in areas in and around Staines, Egham, Chertsey and Datchet, there are also a further two warnings for the south-west of England in Salt Moor and East Lyng. Downing Street has confirmed that Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to visit flood-affected areas in the South West later this morning. Water levels in the South East are expected to rise despite the fact that significant rainfall is not expected during the day. Armed forces personnel were in the heavily populated area on Sunday night building a 2ft-high (60cm) defence to try to divert the river away from homes. Dave McKnight from the Environment Agency said: "There really is a danger to life in these severe flood warning areas on the Lower Thames. We're still seeing the Thames slowly creeping up." And councillor Colin Rayner, from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, said: "We need help here. We need the police, we need the Army. We've got 50 volunteers here, we've got the vulnerable people out of their homes, now we need to get everyone else out."

 

The flooding has also caused severe delays on several train lines. Robin Gisby, managing director of Network Rail, said his team were watching "several hundred" sites across England carefully and monitoring the situation. He said: "The Thames is rising now to levels not seen for many, many years. "What I think is really significant, and it has got worse overnight, is Oxford down to the Thames Valley through Didcot, Reading, Maidenhead and into Paddington. "This isn't now just flooding, this is groundwater. The land is so saturated we have got water rising up, just as much as flowing on to it. So it is difficult." In Worcester, large parts of the city centre could be closed for a week because of flooding, the county council has said. Twenty-nine flood warnings remain in place for the Teme, Wye, Avon and Severn across Herefordshire and Worcestershire and Worcester Bridge has been shut. Two severe flood warnings remain in place in Somerset, and more than 300 less serious warnings and alerts have been issued, mostly in southern England and the Midlands.

 

Train troubles

 

National Rail said the River Thames had flooded at several locations between Staines and Windsor & Eton Riverside stations early on Monday. Trains in the area are cancelled and replacement buses are "not available". The main rail route into Devon and Cornwall via Bridgwater remains cut off because problems caused by flooding and storm damage. The line from Paddington to Exeter via Newbury is expected to reopen later following a drop in flood water levels at Athelney. The line from Waterloo to Exeter via Yeovil, closed by a landslip at Crewkerne on Saturday, has reopened.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26111598

Edited by Summer Sun

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Valentine's Day Massacre: Forecasters warn MAJOR weather event will tear into UK on FRIDAY

 

BRITAIN is in the firing line for yet ANOTHER violent storm to unleash chaos next weekend.

 

Posted Image

 

Forecasters have warned the ENTIRE COUNTRY to be on alert for 80mph gales and torrential downpours. A deep low pressure system is currently swirling over the Atlantic and heading straight for our shores. Forecasters warned Britons to expect a “Valentine’s Day massacre†as the frenzied storm rips into the UK on Friday night. Weather models show a system even worse than this weekend’s 'Storm Charlie’ which tore across parts of the country on Saturday. The intense storm system is on course to crash into Britain next weekend pummeling regions already in flood crisis including Somerset and Berkshire, where today the THAMES was threatening to burst its banks. Waves of more than 50 feet will threaten southern coasts as the low pressure drags a colossal 'sea swell' towards land.

 

Forecasters warned next week's 'major event' will be the THIRD fresh Atlantic depression to hit this week after a big storm hits western Britain overnight tonight with another violent spell of weather due on Wednesday.The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for heavy rain on Tuesday and Wednesday and warned of the risk of further flooding because of the relentless storms.It added: “Another area of low pressure and its associated fronts are likely to affect the UK during Monday night and Tuesday, bringing a further spell of heavy rain and strong winds, particularly to southern areas. “Further spells of rain, heavy at times, and accompanied by strong winds are possible during Monday night and Tuesday.  “The public should be aware of the risk of further disruption due to flooding.â€

 

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/458921/Weather-warning-Latest-forecast-models-show-NEW-monster-storm-to-smash-into-UK-THIS-week

Edited by Summer Sun

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They haven't looked at the ECM or 06GFS then.....UKMO has a very nasty system, be interesting to see what comes out of this.  I doubt it'll be over then, more to come I feel around middle next week too.

 

 

BFTP

Edited by BLAST FROM THE PAST

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Wales weather: Roads hit by snow and localised flooding

 

Snow and localised flooding have caused traffic problems on some routes across Wales with forecasters warning heavy rain is expected to return. A landslide in Powys has blocked rail lines and could affect services at short notice between Machynlleth and Caersws, says Arriva Trains Wales. The Met Office issued a yellow warning, meaning "be aware", for heavy rain and strong wind on Monday and Tuesday. Two flood warnings and 11 alerts have been issued by Natural Resources Wales.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-26111651

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Flooding: River Thames waters rising as PM heads to South West as crisis goes on

 

THOUSANDS of properties along the River Thames are at risk as flood waters continue to rise. Fourteen severe flood warnings have been issued in Berkshire and Surrey while two remain in place in flood-ravaged Somerset. David Cameron is set to visit the South West over the coming 24 hours as he is "determined to see as much of the impact of the flooding as he can". Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is likely to chair an emergency Cobra meeting in London this afternoon in the Prime Minister's absence. Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, has hit back at critics of his agency and claims his staff know "100 times" more about the current situation than any politician. Speaking earlier, he said: "I have kept my counsel up to now, but when I hear someone criticising the expertise and professionalism of my staff in the Environment Agency, who knew 100 times more about flood risk management than any politician ever does, I'm afraid I'm not going to sit idly by. "The Environment Agency is bound by the rules that are laid down by government." Lord Smith was speaking after Mr Pickles has suggested the government relied too heavily on advice from the Environment Agency and had "made a mistake" in not dredging the Somerset Levels earlier.

 

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/364804/Flooding-River-Thames-waters-rising-as-David-Cameron-heads-to-South-West

 

Thieving sightseers mock flood victims and hold up the rescue operation

 

CALLOUS sightseers are mocking flood victims, stealing souvenirs and holding up the rescue operation. Gangs of them have been gathering to gawp at homes devastated by floods, while twisted trophy hunters scour the wreckage. They swooped on Dawlish, Devon, after its famous railway line crumbled into the sea. They also descended on the swamped Somerset Levels. Dawlish resident Rob Parker, 62, said: “We are getting all sorts of abuse from people coming down to see the damage. The track area has been cordoned off, so there’s nothing to see. “But two guys threatened one of my neighbours when he challenged them. “They said they were going to come back and beat him up. It’s terrible abuse.

 

“We just want the concrete lorries to be able to get access so the workers can get on with the repair job.†Flood victims in neighbouring Somerset said they had been inundated with what they branded “flood touristsâ€. Helen Ridler wrote on Facebook: “Just been down to Burrowbridge. It’s manic down there. “Lots of people helping, which is wonderful, but I was so angry to see so many flood tourists with their kids, cameras and dogs. Susan Christine Fowler added: “What sick, sad people there are. “Get a bloody life, and if you’re not there to help, bugger off out of the way and let those that are helping get on with it!†Somerset police have put up a road block in the village of Othery to stop none essential vehicles travelling to Burrowbridge.

 

Meanwhile, soldiers from 7 Battalion The Rifles were drafted in to dam a breach in the Kennet Canal to protect an electrical substation and stop 40,000 homes losing power in Reading, Berks. But yet another storm is predicted tonight, heaping fresh agony on people devastated by the deluge. In flood-hit Moorland, Somerset, desperate villagers constructed their own dam around homes after claiming they had been “abandoned†by the Environment Agency. And funeral directors are cancelling burials because the ground is too soaked. A kayaker was feared drowned last night after his empty craft was discovered on a swollen river in the Welsh countryside. The man, in his thirties, was seen getting into difficulty on the fast-flowing River Usk at Llangynidr, Powys, shortly before 1pm. Rescuers began searching a seven-mile stretch but hopes faded when no trace was found by nightfall.

 

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/364738/Thieving-sightseers-mock-flood-victims-and-hold-up-the-rescue-operation

Edited by Summer Sun

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Chaos in the commuter belt: Thousands of homes threatened and hundreds rescued as the Thames bursts its banks... and it's getting a little too close for comfort for the Queen at Windsor Castle

  • Environment Agency has 16 severe flood warnings out in southern England, with 14 of these along the Thames
  • Flooding in Datchet, a village next to the Thames near Windsor in Berkshire, forces National Rail to cancel trains
  • Communities Secretary Eric Pickles says areas near Thames will suffer 'significant' problems by middle of week
  • England and Wales will see quieter day today with showers, but the latest storm will arrive tonight with 0.8in rain
  • Emergency work to prevent flooding includes distribution of tens of thousands more sandbags by Royal Marines 
  • But EA boss Lord Smith accuses ministers of blocking work to deal with floods by turning crisis into political row
  • Insurers face £500m bill from the extreme autumn and winter weather, putting it on par with the big freeze of 2010
  • Missing kayaker, 34, found dead today in Powys, Wales, nearly 24 hours after being swept away on a swollen river

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2555658/UK-weather-16-areas-South-warned-flooding-danger-lives-Armed-Forces-battle-save-homes.html

Edited by Summer Sun

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Floods Cause Major Problems On Rail Routes

 

Gale force winds and torrential rain have taken their toll on the nation's rail network with damaged track and collapsed embankments threatening continued misery for train travellers. A number of train operators have reported major delays on routes from Hampshire and Berkshire, to North Wales, Somerset, and Devon. And repairs on some lines could take weeks or even months according to Network Rail, which is responsible for the track.  While it says it is doing all it can to fix damaged lines, Network Rail admits more storms may bring additional problems, especially as embankments and track are already heavily waterlogged. A landslip at Botley in Hampshire means trains cannot run between Eastleigh and Fareham. An 80-metre section of embankment collapsed following torrential rain, and the line is expected to to be closed for most of February while repairs are carried out. In the meantime, trains between London Waterloo and Portsmouth via Eastleigh are being diverted.

 

Landslips are also causing major disruption on South Eastern trains between Tonbridge and Hastings in Kent, where the line is expected to be out of commission for at least a week, while engineers fix the damage. And there are rail problems following a landslip at Oxted in Surrey. In North Wales, following damage to the railway caused by storms and flooding, the line is currently closed between Barmouth and Pwllheli. A replacement bus service is operating between these stations. Railway engineers are undertaking repairs at a number of locations, including Tywyn, Barmouth and Criccieth, which are expected to take several months.  And a landslip near Caersws means trains cannot run to Machynlleth. On South West Trains there are no trains between Staines and Windsor & Eton Riverside, due to flooding along the River Thames in Datchet, near Windsor, in Berkshire. The line is not expected to re-open until Thursday, February 13, at the earliest. A replacement bus service is running but because of poor road conditions they are unable to call at Wraysbury, Sunnymeads and Datchet.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1209186/floods-cause-major-problems-on-rail-routes

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The end may be in sight now for the south with the rain expected to shift to the north wesdt by the end of this month

 

Floods: Storms To Shift To North By Month's End

 

Southern Britain is expected to get drier and brighter weather by the end of the month - but only after the country is hit by yet more torrential rain. The Met Office has issued a warning that there is more extreme weather to come during the rest of the week, particularly in southern and western parts of the UK. Tonight, and Tuesday morning, heavy rain and gusts of up to 60mph are expected to batter the region, which has already suffered substantial flooding. According to Sky News Weather Producer Jo Robinson, the bad weather shows no sign of abating, with forecasters warning of a "conveyor belt of storms" on their way to the UK. A violent storm could unleash torrential downpours and gales of up to 80mph on Wednesday afternoon and evening, affecting the South West and Republic of Ireland, where many residents have already been forced from their homes after weeks of heavy rain.

 

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for strong winds across South Wales and South West England. Friday night sees another storm moving into the South, with warnings in place.  However, the Met Office, also says the relentless downpours that have caused widespread disruption and flooding will eventually be replaced by some "drier and brighter" weather across southern and eastern parts of the UK. Emma Sharples, the Met Office’s weather forecaster, said: "Towards the end of February and into early March, the trend is for less unsettled conditions than we have seen lately, and some drier weather." But Jo Robinson warned that even with drier weather to come, the flooding will "remain a big concern" with high ground water levels in the South. Forecasters warned that the extreme weather is expected to shift to the North West, with strong winds and rain expected toward the end of the month.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1209483/floods-storms-to-shift-to-north-by-months-end

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Thames Floods Warning For Thousands Of Homes

 

Sandbags are piled up in the streets and soldiers are on stand-by with water levels expected to rise in Berkshire and Surrey.

 

Thousands more homes in the South East could be inundated by floodwaters after communities along the Thames were warned river levels will continue to rise over the coming days. Hundreds of properties along the Thames in Berkshire and Surrey have already been flooded after the river reached recorded levels in some areas. Thames Valley Police has declared a "major incident" in East Berkshire after the river burst its banks in several areas. Datchet, where the military put down a 600 metre long sandbag wall on Sunday, was hit by flooding after the water rose by over half a metre in 24 hours, blocking roads and train tracks.

 

Residents and shop owners waited for sandbags on Monday night to protect their properties and deliveries were quickly carried away. Local businesswoman Isabel Gil said: "I would have thought there would be a lot of sandbags all prepared in advance for this situation but they seem like gold dust. I can't get hold of any." Much of the nearby village of Wraysbury was also under water. Police said they would join boat patrols with fire and rescue personnel overnight.

 

Around 200 Royal Navy personnel were filling sandbags in Chievely, near Newbury, for distribution along the Thames Valley. Eighty are transporting those sandbags and building defences in Staines and Chertsey, where the water is the highest it has been in over a decade. The Environment Agency told Sky News at least 400 homes had flooded since Sunday in the South East and 4,000 more were at risk.

 

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles told MPs there was a high risk the River Severn and Wye would all also break their banks. Speaking later, after chairing a COBR meeting, he said: "As we continue to face these extraordinary weather events, I want to make clear again this evening that work is being done to identify and prioritise any sites where we may experience problems in the coming days.  "I want to reassure the public that their safety remains our first priority. We are doing everything possible to protect people's homes and communities.

 

"In addition, strategic sites such as water and electrical plants are being given special attention to ensure that homes are not left without vital resources."  There are 14 severe flood warnings, meaning an imminent danger to life, in place between Datchet and Shepperton Green, while two others remain in Somerset. More than 300 other flood warnings and alerts have also been issued, including in the South East, South West and the Midlands. The Thames barrier was closed overnight in order to protect communities west of London.

 

Paul Leinster, chief executive of Environment Agency, said: "Extreme weather will continue to threaten communities this week, with further severe flooding expected Monday evening into Tuesday along the Thames in Berkshire and Surrey. "River levels are high across south west, central and southern England and further rain has the potential to cause significant flooding." As far down river as Kingston on the outskirts of London the river is high and rising. Residents have been evacuated in several areas, including in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, but some people are refusing to leave as they are worried about possible looting. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for further spells of rain, sometimes heavy, and strong winds overnight into Tuesday morning for southern England. It said: "The public should be aware of the risk of further disruption due to flooding."

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1209600/thames-floods-warning-for-thousands-of-homes

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UK Floods Could Last Months, Scientist Warns

 

Scientists have told Sky News that groundwater levels are now so high that parts of Britain face a serious risk of flooding for weeks or even months to come. Andy McKenzie, a groundwater scientist at the British Geological Survey, told Sky News that even if the rain stopped today, so much water is soaking through the soil that levels are likely to keep rising for another two months. The risk of flooding could remain high until May, he said. Figures exclusively revealed to Sky News show that boreholes used to measure the height of the water table are overflowing in many areas, with the highest levels ever recorded. According to the data from the British Geological Survey nine of the 14 boreholes in southern England are now showing "exceptionally high levels".

 

At Chilgrove House in Sussex the groundwater level at the end of January beat records going back 179 years. And at a borehole at The Well House Inn in Surrey the extraordinary rainfall has pushed up the water table by 20 metres in the last two weeks. The British Geological Survey estimates 1.6 million properties in England and Wales are at risk of groundwater flooding. They tend to be in low-lying areas where water is pushed up through rocks. They can be in normally dry areas, far from rivers and streams. The Environment Agency (EA) has already issued groundwater flood alerts for parts of south London, Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset.

 

The EA warns that cellars are likely to flood, and if groundwater seeps into sewers, there could be pollution. Roads could also be closed by rising water levels. In the winter of 2000-01 groundwater flooding of the Patcham area of Brighton cost £800,000 and cut off the London to Brighton railway line. Water flowing underground is also likely to mean the Somerset Levels will remain flooded well into the Spring. Sky News descended through a pothole in the Mendip Hills to access a network of caves that stretches for several miles. Huge volumes of water are cascading through the tunnels, heading for the low-lying areas. Andy Sparrow of Caveclimb has been exploring the system for several decades. He said he has never seen it so wet for so long. With more storms forecast this week, and no sign the jet stream is moving north to its normal position, large areas of Britain are at risk of further flooding.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1209623/uk-floods-could-last-months-scientist-warns

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UK floods: Severe weather expected in stricken areas

 

More severe weather is expected to hit flood-stricken parts of the UK later, as the prime minister continues a tour of the worst-affected areas. Fourteen severe flood warnings remain in place in Berkshire and Surrey, and two in Somerset. And there are "be aware" warnings of rain and snow for parts of Wales. The Environment Agency board, meanwhile, has backed embattled chairman Lord Smith. Flooding is continuing to disrupt train services in various parts of the country. Because of flooding near Maidenhead, trains are having to run at a reduced speed between London Paddington and Reading, with journey times extended by up to an hour. First Great Western is currently advising passengers not to travel. Services are also suspended on South West Trains between Staines and Windsor and Eton Riverside due to rising water levels, and the main train line from London in to Cornwall remains severed at Dawlish in Devon.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26131515

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Thousands facing flood misery as Thames riverbanks burst

 

TENS of thousands of homes were last night on flood alert as water levels kept rising. Officials warned that those living along the Thames faced “danger to life†after riverbanks burst. With predictions of more torrential weather to come, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles spelt out the peril of “significant†flooding across south-west, central and southern England. “There is a high risk that the Thames, the Severn and the Wye will flood in the middle of the week, local residents are actively engaged in planning and preparation,†he said. “We have made clear again that every resource is available to local communities affected. We’ll keep providing immediate practical support and assistance that’s needed. Whether it’s extra pumps and sandbags, military support on the ground, to emergency funds for severe weather assistance funding.

 

â€Forecasters are warning there will be no respite from the weather which has battered Britain since before Christmas. “There’ll be no let-up for the next two weeks,†said a Weather Channel spokesman. Downpours and winds of 90mph are expected this week as Storm Darwin, a “conveyor belt†of low pressure systems, tears in from the Atlantic. The Met Office has severe weather warnings in place every day until the weekend. The South-west is again in the firing line for heavy downpours with more than an inch of rain expected today.

 

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/459099/Thousands-facing-flood-misery-as-Thames-riverbanks-burst

River of tears: Deluge to get worse as Thames bursts its banks

 

THOUSANDS more Brits face weeks of flood-soaked hell as rivers continue to burst their banks. After a week of misery in the West Country, towns and villages in the Home Counties were the latest to be swamped yesterday.The Environment Agency said floods would continue to cause havoc at 14 sites along the Thames. Rising waters engulfed Wraysbury, Old Windsor and Datchet, Berks, as rescuers battled to help residents. Wraysbury councillor Colin Rayner said: “I have seen people walking in waist-deep water trying to salvage their possessions.†The deluge is expected to get worse over the coming week. To add to victims’ fears, authorities in the south-west have revealed that vandals have been sabotaging flood defences. And officials in Berkshire urged the Army to help after homes evacuated because of flooding were hit by looters.

 

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/364909/River-of-tears-Deluge-to-get-worse-as-Thames-bursts-its-banks

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US South Braces For 'Catastrophic' Ice Storm

 

Residents in Georgia and other parts of the South have been told to prepare for a "catastrophic" winter storm that could cause widespread power outages. National Weather Service forecasters are predicting crippling snow and thick layers of ice along with possible wind gusts up to 25mph exacerbating problems. President Barack Obama declared an emergency in Georgia, ordering federal agencies to help with the state and local response. Many people heeded the advice to stay home and off the roads, leaving much of metro Atlanta desolate during what is typically a busy morning commute. Aaron Strickland, emergency operations director for Georgia Power, said the utility is bringing in crews from Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Michigan. Mr Strickland, who has spent 35 years with Georgia Power, said he has never seen an inch of ice in metro Atlanta. "I've seen people forecast it, but it's never come," he said. "And I'm hoping it don't this time."

 

The quiet streets were a stark contrast to the scene two weeks earlier when downtown roads were jammed with cars, drivers slept overnight in vehicles or abandoned them on highways. Atlanta has a painful past of being ill-equipped to deal with snowy weather. Despite officials' promises after a crippling ice storm in 2011, the January 28 storm proved they still had many kinks to work out. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal indicated on Monday that he and other state officials had learned their lesson, Before even a drop of freezing rain or snow fell, Gov Deal declared a state of emergency for nearly a third of the state. He expanded the declaration on Tuesday to more than half the state's counties. "We are certainly ahead of the game this time, and that's important," the governor said. "We are trying to be ready, prepared and react as quickly as possible." The storm is hitting other parts of the South as well. In Texas, a Dallas firefighter responding to an accident died after falling from an icy highway overpass. South Carolina, which has not seen a major ice storm in nearly a decade, could get a quarter to three-quarters of an inch of ice and as much as eight inches of snow in some areas. Nearly 900 flights were cancelled on Tuesday at airports in Atlanta, Dallas and Charlotte,according to tracking service FlightAware.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1210092/us-south-braces-for-catastrophic-ice-storm

Fury at the Westminster 'flood tourists': Fed-up families hit out at welly-wearing politicians jostling for the best photo opportunities

  • Labour leader Ed Miliband accused of not doing his homework before visit to Purley by local Tory MP Alok Sharma
  • It came after Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was confronted live on TV by Su Burrows in Wraysbury, Berkshire
  • David Cameron continued 2-day tour of the South West, taking in Dawlish and Taunton before stopping in Staines
  • Volunteers complain they have had no contact with the Environment Agency or the military despite politicians' visits

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2556595/Defence-Secretary-Philip-Hammond-berated-live-TV-flooded-residents-feel-abandoned.html

'If you buy a house on a flood plain you know the risks': Outrage as Environment Agency boss Lord Smith suggests flooded families must share the blame for damage to their homes

  • 16 severe flood warnings remain in place - two in Somerset and 14 along the River Thames in Berkshire and Surrey
  • More than 300 other flood warnings and alerts have been issued in the South East, South West and the Midlands
  • Homeowners who've already had to evacuate their homes have pleaded for troops to stop looters raiding properties
  • EA chief: 'Anyone who builds in a flood plain or buys a property in a flood plain needs to think about the flood risk'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2556299/Flood-misery-months.html

'Things may get worse before they get better': Cameron's bleak warning as he unveils cash help to homes and firms

  • Prime Minister cancels visit to Israel next week to remain in charge
  • Warns the relief effort will take many weeks and the UK must pull together
  • Vows that 'money is no object' as 80,000 back Mail's call to raid aid budget
  • 16 severe flood warnings, 133 flood warnings and 225 flood alerts in force
  • Grants for homeowners and businesses to improve flood defences
  • Companies hit by floods will be given time to defer paying tax bills
  • New £10million fund for farmers to help to 'piece their lives back together'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2556957/Things-worse-better-Camerons-bleak-warning-storms-forecast-wreak-fresh-havoc.html

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UK floods: PM says money 'no object' in relief effort

 

The prime minister says money will be no object as flood relief efforts continue across swathes of the UK. David Cameron warned the severe weather was not over, saying: "Things could get worse before they get better." Fourteen severe flood warnings remain in place in Berkshire and Surrey and two remain in Somerset. Around 1,000 properties have been evacuated, thousands more are at risk and there are warnings of snow, high winds and more rain later and tomorrow. The Met Office has issued an amber "be prepared" warning of wind on Wednesday as well as yellow "be aware" snow, wind and rain warnings. It said the "potentially damaging winds" could be strong enough to bring down trees, causing transport and power network problems. Speaking at a Downing Street press conference after returning from the flood-stricken South West, Mr Cameron said: "Money is no object in this relief effort. Whatever money is needed we will spend it."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26131515

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