More flood hell as residents are forced out of their homes

More flood hell as residents are forced out of their homes amid 258 flood alerts as cut-off pub lunches boat taxi service for regulars and Met Office warns of more heavy rain on way tomorrow

  • There are currently hundreds of flood alerts and warnings across the country
  • Friday will be brighter but wet and windy weather is expected to return Saturday
  • A pub in Grimley, Worcestershire, is ferrying punters to its doors on a boat 

Scores of residents have been forced out of their homes following flooding in Wales and south west England, with heavy rain forecast for Saturday threatening to wreak yet more havoc. 

There are currently 258 flood alerts and warnings across the country, from Carlisle to Brighton, although Wales and the south west continue to be the most at risk, including parts of Bristol, Exeter and Salisbury. 

Worcestershire also has several warnings in place, although local punters in the town of Grimley have refused to be put off by the deluge, with one pub launching a boat taxi service to ferry thirsty villagers to their doors. 

While today is expected to be brighter, another round of wet and windy weather is likely to carry on throughout the weekend and into next week, the Met Office has warned. 

Worcestershire also has several warnings in place, although local punters in the town of Grimley have refused to be put off by the deluge, with one pub launching a boat taxi service to ferry thirsty villagers to their doors (Pictured: Jo Wainwright-Scarrott captains the ship with regular Roger Blackmore inside who said pub staff had been there for him in darker times)

Elen Morgan of Blaenllechau, using sand bags to stop the water entering her home following flooding in the South Wales valleys 

 

Parts of north-west England, Northern Ireland and North Wales could see gusts of up to 70mph. A dip in temperatures will also bring a risk of sleet and snow to the UK.

Local river and surface water flooding is probable across parts of England today, according to the Met Office and Environment Agency. 

It comes as Welsh resident Russell Thomas, 60, of Blaenllechau, is among the many residents attempting to dry out his home today after being flooded out. 

He said his home was flooded during Storm Dennis in February 2020, then again two weeks later, and now he has been affected once again. 

‘I woke up at 4am and I could hear water. Two hours later the water came through and ruined the carpet,’ he said.

Russell said that after Storm Dennis he had taken temporary measures to stop his home from flooding again. 

He added: ‘We previously put a second drain in ourselves after the first storm and that was working fine as a temporary measure while we waited for Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to fix the issue.

‘The issue is that NRW has a wall between mine and my neighbour’s property and until they come to take it down, and put a new wall in, we can’t put any more measures in place to stop the water flooding down into our homes. It’s been three years and three carpets later. Well – what can we do?’

Russell said that he was ‘lucky’ to be able to save his belongings this time as last time he lost everything. 

But he said that he could be out of thousands of pounds this time around due to hiring equipment to remove the water and putting down a new carpet. 

To save his home from the flood Russell has also made his own pumping station to pump out the water from his living room.

Elen Morgan, of Blaenllechau, is Russell’s neighbour and said this flood had been ‘absolutely destroying.’ 

The swirling waters of the Severn creep closer towards The Camp House Inn pub in Grimley, Worcestershire 

There are currently 258 flood alerts and warnings across the country, from Carlisle to Brighton, although Wales and the south west continue to be the most at risk, including parts of Bristol, Exeter and Salisbury

There continues to be flood alerts and warnings in Wales, as fresh downpours are forecast for Saturday 

Elen added: ‘We’re lucking it’s not 4ft deep but it still ruins everything. You make a home and think it’s safe but things out of your control take it all away.’ 

Elen said that a new flood door had been fitted to her property but the water had seeped through from underneath the step.

Elen said that NRW have previously been in touch regarding the wall with plans in place for the work to begin before Covid delayed the process. Since then Elen and Russell have been waiting for the wall to be rebuilt. 

It comes as thirsty villagers in Worcestershire are being given lifts to a pub which has been cut off by floods by bar staff who have launched a boat taxi service.

The Camp House Inn is surrounded by water after the River Severn burst its banks following days of heavy rain.

Locals are unfazed by the deluge and bar staff are helping them reach the pub in the village of Grimley, by boat.

Bar staff are using upturned beer crates as seats as they ferry drinkers across the 3ft-deep water which has completely submerged the car park and road leading to the pub.

Paul Scarrott brings the boat across at the Camp House Inn in Grimley, as he prepares to ferry more punters to the pub following flooding 

Regular Roger Blackmore shows off his boots after being brought to his local pub in Grimley on a boat 

Paul Scarrott enjoys a well-earned pint after hauling out the boat for customers at the Camp House Inn in Grimley as flood waters rise

Assistant manager Jo Wainwright-Scarrott surveys the rising flood waters forming a rising moat around the Camp House Inn at Grimley next to the River Severn

A peacock peers inside the Camp House Inn in Grimley as flood waters rise

Assistant manager Jo Wainwright-Scarrott, 44, said: ‘I’m more boatswain than barmaid at the moment while ferrying customers across what we affectionately call our moat.

‘Regulars say they will return the favour by mucking in with mops and marigolds after the flood waters recede.

‘We hope to stay open – but it’s in the lap of the gods. We are in God’s hands at the moment – old mother nature. It’s old hat to us.

‘The waters are rising faster than normal. We bring the customers here by boat and bring them back in the boat when it’s dark.’

The pub, which has been run by the Wainwright family since 1939, is used to adverse weather conditions.

There are plaques by the fireplace showing previous flooding high water marks in 2000. The highest level is believed to be 1947.

Even the old tower, which functioned as a lighthouse and is reputed to date from the 14th century, is said to be built from the timbers of old ships.

Regular Roger Blackmore, 77, cycled to the pub before getting on the boat.

He said: ‘It has been my local watering hole for many years. The water is rising so fast now.

‘I love the atmosphere and hospitality – and the people you get inside. People here have helped me at a low ebb and have looked out for me.

‘When you know you have got the support it makes a lot of difference.’

Villager John Snaith, 40, said: ‘I don’t think twice about putting my waders on before marching over for a pint.

‘There’s a bit of a blitz spirit when it floods and everyone just pitches in to help.

‘After an hour’s mopping you’re certainly ready for your pint.’

As temperatures trend downwards this weekend, Britain can expect to see wintry hazards such as snow and ice.

Strong winds will bring a chilly feel for many this morning, with gales along coasts and over higher ground.

The Met Office says it will be calmer in northwest Scotland, but showers will continue feeding into the northern and western areas to begin the day.

However, it is expected get colder over the weekend – and into next week – bringing widespread snow showers.

Meteorologists say the UK’s wicked weather is partly due to the big freeze that recently ripped across the US.

Parts of north-west England, Northern Ireland and North Wales could see gusts of up to 70mph

A dip in temperatures will also bring a risk of sleet and snow to the UK

Downpours could see properties flooded and cause power cuts, while regions have already seen delays to public transport as well as road closures, the Met Office has warned. Pictured: A horse stranded in floods in Ripon, North Yorkshire on Wednesday

There are also wind warnings for north-west England, Northern Ireland and North Wales, with the possibility of gusts of up to 70mph in some areas over the weekend. Pictured: A small Worcestershire town is flooded yesterday after the River Severn burst

The wet and windy conditions are likely to continue on through Saturday and Sunday and into next week, bringing with them renewed risk of flooding in areas which have already seen heavy rainfall. Pictured: A flooded playground yesterday in Taff’s Well, Wales

A flooded road near the village of Lacock in Wiltshire where the river Avon has burst its banks after heavy rain over night and through toda

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A drop in temperatures in the next few days means rain could give way to snow on high ground in northern areas, particularly Scotland, and even sleet on lower ground, a Met Office spokesperson said.

The wet and windy conditions are likely to continue on through Saturday and Sunday and into next week, bringing with them renewed risk of flooding in areas which have already seen heavy rainfall.

Stephen Dixon, spokesperson for the Met Office, said: ‘Friday is likely to be unsettled as well, but is mainly a prelude to another band of rain which is going to cause showers throughout most of the UK on Saturday and into Sunday morning.

‘On Saturday, the rain is looking likely to be heaviest in the west of Wales and the South West as well, with some areas seeing in excess of 50mm.

‘We will be keeping an eye on that because some of that rain will be falling on already saturated ground.

‘Temperatures will drop throughout the weekend bringing with it wintry showers, with a possibility of snow on higher ground and sleet on lower ground.’

The wintry weather comes after parts of the West Country were battered by wet weather Wednesday night – including the Bristol suburb of Hanham – and the river Avon burst its banks amid heavy rainfall. 

The Kings Arms if flooded as heavy rain causes the River Ouse in York burst its banks flooding buildings in York City Centre yesterday

Holiday caravans at the Seaborne Leisure camp site in Kempsey, Worcestershire were marooned by flood water yesterday after the River Severn Severn burst its banks

Flooding next to the River Taff has submerged the play park in Taffs Well, Wales yesterday

Goalposts were underwater on a flooded football pitch in Taff’s Well, Wales yesterday

In recent years the UK has seen ‘an increased frequency of severe weather’ due to climate change, including long periods of drought as well as prolonged periods of wet weather. Pictured: Flooding in Taff’s Well, Wales yesterday

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The car park for two pubs – the Old Lock & Weir Inn and the Chequers Inn – was one of the places badly affected by the rising water.

An onlooker said: ‘Unfortunately the flooding overran the river banks, pretty close to a good few homes and businesses.’

Pictures have emerged of cars submerged on Old Bristol Road in Keynsham.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service said crews had rescued one person from their car shortly before 2am, and at just after 8am they rescued three more people who had become stranded in vehicles.

Meanwhile, residents in Shropshire and the Mid Wales border in Herefordshire were told to take action to protect their homes, due to flooding being expected in Ironbridge and Jackfield, and five other areas. 

Maerdy, an area in the Rhondda Valley of Scotland, experienced 82.2mm of rainfall between 9pm Wednesday and midday Thursday.

Nant yr Ysfa in Pontypridd had 77.2mm and West Dunkery in the south west had 59.6mm.

In South Wales, the River Taff has burst its banks, flooding a number of parks and walking routes along the Taff trail, including Cardiff’s Bute Park near the city centre, and Taff’s Well Park, which currently lies underwater.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said Porth and Pontypridd were the areas worst affected by flooding.

Pontypridd’s popular arts and music venue Clwb y Bont has had to close due to water damage.

Hundreds of properties in Newport have been without power for most of the day, while part of a footpath collapsed into the River Ebbw, leading to its closure by the council.

The River Usk in Powys has also burst, flooding parts of Crickhowell.

Vehicles encounter waterlogged roads near to Bristol Airport yesterday

The Environment Agency has advised people to check their flood risk, stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water.

Andy Wall, from Natural Resources Wales, said yesterday: ‘We’ve had a period of significant rainfall over the last 24 hours, which follows on from a prolonged period of very unsettled weather across most of Wales over the last month.

‘We had four inches of rain, 100mm, on top of the Brecon Beacons last night and we’ve seen rivers respond to that.

‘There’s been widespread travel disruption with flooding of low-lying land and roads.

‘We’ve got some isolated reports of property flooding, which is still being investigated.

‘Fortunately, we’ve been spared some of the worst which could have happened if the rainfall had been heavier. But overall, it’s a difficult picture across Wales.

‘Given the rainfall being forecast by the Met Office into the weekend, we would expect to see rivers full again, and are quite likely to see flooding onto floodplains, farmland, minor roads, and we could see some property flooding, particularly in isolated communities in low-lying areas.’

Mr Wall said in recent years the country has seen ‘an increased frequency of severe weather’ due to climate change, including long periods of drought as well as prolonged periods of wet weather.

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