UK homes threatened by floods

Tue, Nov 27, 2012, 00:00

Thousands of drivers and residents in the UK face further chaos today after heavy rain continued to fall overnight, adding to the flooding crisis.

The Environment Agency has 198 flood alerts and 276 flood warnings in place in England and Wales, as persistent rain hit already saturated areas increasing the risk of river flooding.

But forecasters say the wind and rain will finally begin to ease today and instead freezing temperatures will take hold of the UK.

Three people have died in the flooding and around 900 homes have been evacuated because of the stormy weather, which has caused delays for train passengers and drivers.

North-west England and Wales again felt the worst of the weather last night, where winds reached up to 55mph.

Sleet fell over the Pennines with snow predicted in the Scottish mountains today.

Last night the EA remained particularly concerned about the River Thames, Trent and the Severn, as well as about the Northamptonshire area.

Meanwhile residents have been warned to evacuate 500 properties in North Wales after a river burst past flood defences.

People living in St Asaph, Denbighshire, were warned to leave the area after the River Elwy overtopped defences amid heavy rain.

They have been asked to go to stay with friends and family until the risk subsides.

A rest centre has been opened by Denbighshire County Council at St Asaph Leisure Centre and council staff are being assisted by members of the British Red Cross.

A spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: “Over recent hours, concerns have been growing about the levels of the River Elwy at St Asaph.

“The river has now overtopped the flood defences in the north end of the city.”

The continued flooding risk comes after claims yesterday that hundreds of thousands of homes may be left without flood cover due to a row between ministers and the insurance industry over how future flooding bills would be

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) had claimed that talks about a “safety net” deal to ensure those in flood-risk areas can continue to afford their policies were at “crisis point”.

Last night Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said talks were ongoing - and that ministers were committed to securing a good deal for both householders and the taxpayer.