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Met Office issues 'danger to life' warning ahead of Storm Dennis Met Office issues 'danger to life' warning ahead of Storm Dennis
(about 1 hour later)
Threat level of 1,200-mile wide storm raised, with flooding and travel disruption expected Threat level of 1,200 mile-wide storm raised, with flooding and travel disruption expected
The Met Office has raised the threat level of Storm Dennis, issuing a “danger to life” weather warning as Britain braced itself for a second weekend of gusty weather.The Met Office has raised the threat level of Storm Dennis, issuing a “danger to life” weather warning as Britain braced itself for a second weekend of gusty weather.
The 1,200-mile wide storm is expected to cause torrential downpours, raising the risk of fast-flowing floods and transport disruption over the weekend. The 1,200 mile-wide storm is expected to cause torrential downpours, raising the risk of fast-flowing floods and transport disruption over the weekend.
The country is still recovering from the flooding caused by Storm Ciara, during which a man in Micheldever, Hampshire, was killed when his car was hit by a branch and a dog walker in Liverpool died when a bough fell on him.The country is still recovering from the flooding caused by Storm Ciara, during which a man in Micheldever, Hampshire, was killed when his car was hit by a branch and a dog walker in Liverpool died when a bough fell on him.
This weekend, Storm Dennis will develop in the North Atlantic before tracking eastwards, and passing into northern Scotland on Saturday, with the country set to be blasted by winds of up to 70mph, and some areas getting more than 100mm of rain. This weekend, Storm Dennis will develop in the north Atlantic before tracking eastwards, and passing into northern Scotland on Saturday, with the country set to be blasted by winds of up to 70mph, and some areas receiving more than 100mm of rain.
The Met Office issued severe amber weather warnings that flooding could cause danger to life, while power cuts are expected and transport links could be affected.The Met Office issued severe amber weather warnings that flooding could cause danger to life, while power cuts are expected and transport links could be affected.
The Environment Agency issued 16 flood warnings for England, where flooding is “expected”, and 109 of its less serious flood alerts.The Environment Agency issued 16 flood warnings for England, where flooding is “expected”, and 109 of its less serious flood alerts.
The impact of Storm Dennis is likely to be “at least as bad” as last weekend, but it is so far impossible to say which parts of the country will be worst affected, a spokesperson for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said. The impact of Storm Dennis is likely to be “at least as bad” as last weekend, but it is so far impossible to say which parts of the country will be worst affected, a spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said.
Current forecasts are accurate to within about 20 miles, but in the UK that could mean the difference between the storm having its worst impacts in one side of the Pennines or the other, which would affect whether the east or west side of the country will see the most rainfall, the spokesperson added.Current forecasts are accurate to within about 20 miles, but in the UK that could mean the difference between the storm having its worst impacts in one side of the Pennines or the other, which would affect whether the east or west side of the country will see the most rainfall, the spokesperson added.
Rivers are already high and ground saturated from the impacts of last weekend’s storms, which means there is less capacity to absorb the heavy rainfall expected in the coming days. Rivers are already high and the ground saturated from last weekend’s storms, meaning there is less capacity to absorb more heavy rainfall.
Climate breakdown is increasing the severity of storms and extreme rainfall, leading to far higher levels of flooding. The spokesperson said the UK would need to change its approach to flooding as a result, because current efforts to protect homes will be inadequate in the future. Climate breakdown is increasing the severity of storms and extreme rainfall, leading to far higher levels of flooding. The spokesperson said the UK needed to change its approach to flooding as a result, because current efforts to protect homes will be inadequate in the future.
Network Rail advised passengers to expect disruption on many routes because of flooding and allow more time for their journeys. It said tracks could be flooded as the ground near some railway lines is already saturated, particularly in the north-west.Network Rail advised passengers to expect disruption on many routes because of flooding and allow more time for their journeys. It said tracks could be flooded as the ground near some railway lines is already saturated, particularly in the north-west.
Jake Kelly, Network Rail’s passenger director, said: “Storm Ciara dumped a month-and-a-half of rain on us last weekend, leaving ground waterlogged and rivers swollen. Jake Kelly, Network Rail’s passenger director, said: “Storm Ciara dumped a month and a half of rain on us last weekend, leaving ground waterlogged and rivers swollen.
“We had a lot of flooding in the north-west and a lot of it disrupted the railway, for example at Todmorden and Caldew near Carlisle. “We had a lot of flooding in the north-west and a lot of it disrupted the railway, for example at Todmorden and Caldew near Carlisle. With Storm Dennis set to bring more high winds and further rainfall this Saturday and Sunday, we’re preparing for more of the same.”
“With Storm Dennis set to bring more high winds and further rainfall this Saturday and Sunday, we’re preparing for more of the same.”
Those living near rail lines are being urged to secure any loose items in their gardens, after several trampolines were blown on to tracks and overhead electric wires last weekend, blocking lines.Those living near rail lines are being urged to secure any loose items in their gardens, after several trampolines were blown on to tracks and overhead electric wires last weekend, blocking lines.
Warnings were issued to drivers as the storm is likely to cause treacherous driving conditions.Warnings were issued to drivers as the storm is likely to cause treacherous driving conditions.
Ben Sheridan, from the AA, said: “Cupid’s arrow has definitely missed the mark this weekend as we’re in for another round of grisly weather with Storm Dennis. Ben Sheridan from the AA said: “Cupid’s arrow has definitely missed the mark this weekend as we’re in for another round of grisly weather with Storm Dennis. The forecast looks bleak across the UK with warnings for wind and heavy rain which will significantly reduce visibility on the roads.
“The forecast looks bleak across the UK with warnings for wind and heavy rain which will significantly reduce visibility on the roads.
“Last weekend many people heeded travel warnings and avoided venturing out. It looks like another cosy weekend in could be on the cards for many as rain pours cold water on their plans.“Last weekend many people heeded travel warnings and avoided venturing out. It looks like another cosy weekend in could be on the cards for many as rain pours cold water on their plans.
“For those who are braving the storm, drivers should make sure they account for the conditions. Slow down, allow for greater stopping distances and watch out for potential hazards.”“For those who are braving the storm, drivers should make sure they account for the conditions. Slow down, allow for greater stopping distances and watch out for potential hazards.”