Drivers face rush hour chaos as Highways Agency issues travel warning and Met Office predicts floods and heavy rain

  • Forecasters have warned of ‘treacherous’ conditions in some parts of the country due to heavy rain fall
  • Environment Agency has issued 44 flood alerts for England along with seven more serious flood warnings  
  • Warnings are in place for parts of Scotland, north Wales and the north-east and north-west of England 
  • Tonight three people had to be rescued from a car stuck in a ford in Warwickshire after the area was struck by flooding 

Drivers across the UK are set to face rush hour chaos today as the Highways Agency has urged commuters to check the roads before they travel.

Road users have been advised to take extra care when travelling in wet conditions following forecasters warning of ‘treacherous’ conditions in parts of the country, amid intense rainfall.

The Highways Agency has asked that drivers allow plenty of extra time to complete their journey, and to keep an eye on forecasts before beginning.  

It comes as the Met Office has said that surface water flooding could cause problems for those hitting the roads during the rush hour this morning.  

Weather warnings are in place for parts of Scotland, north Wales and the north-east and north-west of England.

The Met Office tweeted: ‘Amber and yellow warnings are in force for Thursday morning, so conditions on the roads will be treacherous for some with surface water flooding and intense rainfall.’

Dozens of flood warnings and alerts were in place across England on Wednesday night and rail users were hit by cancellations and delays on Wednesday as torrential rain struck England, Scotland and Wales.

This is while Nottingham City Transport said many of its roads were being affected by standing water and floods.

The bus operator said: ‘This may result in short notice diversions and significant delays to all services as traffic moves slower as a precaution. Please allow extra time for any journeys’. 

Flooding in Sandycroft, Deeside, on Wednesday after heavy rain hit the area – with more Met Office weather warnings still in place

A delivery driver became stuck in floodwater in the Cheshire countryside on Wednesday after the River Weaver burst its banks

(From left) Ana Maria Mocahu, Denis Dana, five, and her mother Daniela Danda found themselves flooded with only sandbags stopping the worst of the water coming into their home at Mancot in Flintshire, North Wales, on Wednesday after torrential rain hit the country

Tourists in ponchos at Edinburgh Castle battled heavy rain for a selfie as bad weather struck many parts of Britain yesterday

Just this evening, three people had to be rescued from a car stuck in a ford in Warwickshire, after the Fire and Rescue Service in the area received a 999 call.  

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘A fire engine from Coleshill Fire Station was mobilised. Once in attendance, it was confirmed that the car was stuck in a ford and there were three passengers.

‘They were rescued by firefighters and left with the police.’

Roads and properties in and around a village and town in Nottinghamshire were hit by flooding, MP Robert Jenrick said.

The Conservative MP for Newark said Lowdham and Southwell had been affected on Wednesday night and urged locals to follow the advice of the fire service and Environment Agency.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) said it was advising residents in the village of Lambley to stay indoors due to floodwater.

‘Anyone in the area should avoid attempting to pass through water either on foot or in a vehicle. Many roads are affected and we remain on scene assisting with the #flooding,’

Met Office meteorologist Luke Miall warned that the wet weather would continue to blight parts of the country today. 

Mr Miall said parts of south east Scotland could see up to 100mm of rain, with an amber alert in place warning of heavy downpours.

According to the Met Office, the wettest ever June for the UK as a whole was in 2012 when an average of 149mm of rain fell.

Mr Miall said this month’s rainfall so far was ‘still a long way off’ breaking that record, however he explained that winter river levels across the country were low, meaning that a lot of the current flooding was surface water flooding, with the potential to retreat quickly. 

The weather looks gloomy today but seems as though it will brighten up on Friday with some sunny spells expected on Saturday

There are currently no Met Office weather warnings in place for Friday and the weekend, with conditions forecast to be calmer.

The weather is expected to be drier, warmer and sunnier, but with the risk of heavy and thundery showers in some places.

Homes were evacuated in Britain on Wednesday due to severe flooding after torrential downpours and thunderstorms.

The Met Office had issued a swathe of weather warnings, amid fears homes and businesses could be flooded and there could again be difficult driving conditions and road closures.

Flooding engulfed the beer garden at the Alyn Riverside Country Pub in Rossett, North Wales on Wednesday after heavy downpours

The Environment Agency  issued 44 flood alerts (orange) and seven warnings (red), which mean flooding is expected

The Environment Agency issued 44 flood alerts for England yesterday, advising flooding was possible, and seven more serious flood warnings.

The worst of the flooding yesterday was seen within the Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire areas of North Wales, where homes were evacuated, roads were closed, trains were cancelled and a school was shut. 

Meanwhile rail passengers were advised not to attempt to travel between England and Scotland, with the West Coast Main Line blocked between Carlisle and Lockerbie due to a tree falling on overhead line equipment.

Conditions are expected to improve next week with highs of 75F (24C) in the South East, although the Met Office has warned showers are still possible, especially in the North West where they could be heavy and thundery.  

Meanwhile thousands of people across South and West London were left with no running water or only a limited supply on Wednesday morning after a major pipe burst at a Thames Water works site in Hampton.

Drains in Mancot, Flintshire, were pumped out on Wednesday as heavy rain caused flooding to multiple properties in North Wales

A woman looked miserable as tourists in Edinburgh battled heavy rain with bad weather affecting most of the country 

Floods made driving difficult on Parkgate Road in Chester on Wednesday as forecasters warn more rainfall is to come this week

The River Weaver burst its banks in Cheshire yesterday as motorists risked going through floods following torrential downpours

Fire crews were called to ‘severe flooding’ in Greenfield, Flintshire, while homes in Sandycroft and Mancot were flooded. Crews were also pumping water away close to caravan park in Llangollen for more than 16 hours yesterday.  

Don’t travel between England and Scotland, rail passengers are told

Rail passengers are being advised not to attempt to travel between England and Scotland.

All lines are blocked on the West Coast Main Line between Carlisle and Lockerbie due to a tree falling on overhead line equipment in Floriston, Cumbria.

A tree fell on overhead line equipment in Floriston, Cumbria

Network Rail, which manages Britain’s rail infrastructure, is attempting to repair the damage.

Virgin Trains said it is not possible for passengers to use the East Coast Main Line as an alternative route due to disruption caused by a person being hit by a train.

A Virgin Trains spokesman said: ‘The closure of our route to Scotland is causing significant disruption and we want to apologise to all our customers affected by this.

‘We’re doing our best to help people complete their journeys but would advise anyone who has not set off on their journey to either wait until the disruption has cleared, travel tomorrow or get a refund.’

Elsewhere, an outdoor Rod Stewart concert in Aberdeen was cancelled yesterday ‘due to adverse weather conditions’. A statement from the AECC venue said: ‘Due to the high winds and bad weather it would not be safe to go ahead with this evening’s concert.’ 

There had also been a  rain warning for the Midlands and North East yesterday . This week has seen heavy downpours and thunderstorms in the South East, with a persistent band of rain edging north and west as the week has gone on.

The heaviest downpours expected over the next day are in parts of south-eastern Scotland near Edinburgh, where there is an amber warning amid fears up to 4in (100mm) of rain could fall today.

Some parts of the country have seen double the average monthly rainfall in June already this week, with Stenigot in Lincolnshire experiencing 122.8mm (4.8in) in 48 hours, and 4.1in (104mm) in just one day at Ham Hill in Kent.

Going into the weekend, the wind direction is expected to change, meaning less heavy and persistent rain, although the weather will still be unsettled with some showers expected. 

On Tuesday roads had to be closed including a section of the M25 when two sinkholes were exposed. The worst downpours affected a swathe of the UK from Wales to the Midlands, along the east coast and up to Newcastle. 

In the West Country, river valleys became flooded and water began lapping near homes in low-lying villages. More than 80 homes had power cuts in St Austell in Cornwall, and Torquay in Devon. 

A centuries-old thatched cottage near Dartmoor was destroyed when it was hit by lightning. Roadside rescue service Green Flag said it was set for a surge in demand with 22 calls for assistance expected every minute.

Network Rail said it was coping with a month’s worth of rain which had flooded tracks in the South East. The atrocious weather has been caused by a low-pressure system drawing in warm air from Europe.

Stay out of the water off the British coast, swimmers are told after heavy rain causes 200 sewers to overflow

Surfers Against Sewage posted this alert on its Facebook page yesterday as part of their Safer Seas Service

Swimmers have been warned to stay out of the waters off the British coast after recent heavy rainfall caused nearly 200 sewers to overflow.

The warning urged wild-swimmers to avoid the water in many areas off the coast for at least 24 hours.

It was issued yesterday by Surfers Against Sewage, as part of their Safer Seas Service, and remains in place today. In total, there were 185 sewer overflow warnings and 268 pollution risk warnings issued in the UK in the last few days.

Many areas around the UK were effected, including popular swimming and surfing beaches in Devon and Cornwall such as Penzance and Perranuthnoe.

On the Safer Seas Service website, it states: ‘Untreated sewage and wastewater frequently discharges from thousands of sewer overflows around the UK, sometimes significantly reducing water quality.

‘When these events occur, Surfers Against Sewage is automatically notified by the water company and issues a real-time sewage alert through the Safer Seas Service so surfers, swimmers and other beach users can avoid this potentially harmful pollution incident. Water quality can also be reduced by diffuse pollution, which is the term given to pollution from multiple, often unidentified sources. 

‘Examples include road, urban and agricultural run-off and leakage from septic tanks. When these sources combine, they can often have a significant impact on water quality.’

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