Events cancelled as ‘tropical storm’ flood heralds deluge across Yorkshire

Heavy rain hits Leeds city centre. PIC: Mark Bickerdike
Heavy rain hits Leeds city centre. PIC: Mark Bickerdike
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YORKSHIRE is bracing itself for a month’s rain today and tomorrow, after a flooding blackspot was hit by a “tropical” storm.

More than dozen homes in Goole were flooded following an intense downpour yesterday afternoon, as were several properties in Crowle in north Lincolnshire.

Humberside Fire and Rescue took more than 50 calls in just over an hour and a half, with 16 reports of homes flooding in Goole.

Events off this weekend include the two-day Mfest music and food festival at Harewood.

The Environment Agency says the risk of flooding today and tomorrow is expected to be the highest of a so-far wet year. Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy said: “This time of year is unfortunately becoming known as flood-time for Goole.

“It has been quite small-scale but the concern is for what today brings, with heavy rain expected again.”

East Riding councillor Pat O’Neil saw her garden on Westfield Avenue inundated after intense rain, with thunder and lightning. She said: “It was like a monsoon, as if a tropical storm had hit Goole.”

Humberside Fire and Rescue said crews had helped pump out several homes, including that of a 72-year-old in a basement flat in Hook Road. Homes were also affected in Millennium Way, which has been hit around five times in the last eight years, as well as Marshfield Road, Hook Road, Westbourne Grove and Attlee Drive.

More than 700 properties were flooded in Goole last August 3 and Yorkshire Water is now undertaking a £275,000 survey of the town’s drainage system. Mr Percy said improvements had been made but added: “The fundamental problem remains that the drainage system can’t take this amount of rain and a lot of it is a very old system.”

The Environment Agency urged people in the North and East of England, the Midlands and much of Wales to be prepared for flooding with two bands of very heavy rain set to cross the UK today and tomorrow.

Craig Woolhouse, head of flood incident management at the Environment Agency, said: “We are expecting some very significant flooding in the coming days across large parts of the country, and would strongly urge people to sign up to flood warnings, keep a close eye on the forecasts for their area and be prepared for flooding.”

The Met Office issued an amber weather warning – the second highest, meaning “be prepared”. Deputy chief forecaster Tony Waters said worst affected spots were likely to be in central and northern parts of the country.

He said: “Rainfall totals could be 20-40mm widely across warning areas, but some places could see around 100mm of rain through Friday and into Saturday. Given the saturated ground from the record rainfall in June, this could cause significant disruption – including difficult driving conditions and flooding in some areas.”

The Met Office issued an “amber weather warning” - the second highest, and meaning “be prepared”.

Tony Waters, deputy chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: “We are expecting spells of very heavy and thundery rain across a wide area of the UK in the next few days, with worst affected spots likely to be in central and northern parts of the country.

“Rainfall totals could be 20-40mm widely across warning areas, but some places could see around 100mm of rain through today and into tomorrow.

“Given the saturated ground from the record rainfall in June, this could cause significant disruption - including difficult driving conditions and flooding in some areas.”

Parts of Co Down in Northern Ireland were flooded yesterday and Down District Council declared an emergency in the area.

Newcastle SDLP councillor Carmel O’Boyle said flood water was “several feet deep” in some areas of the town.

Last month was the wettest June since records began, with double the average rain falling during the month. Provisional figures from the Met Office showed the UK received 145.3mm (5.7 inches) in June, beating the previous record of 136.2mm (5.4 inches) in June 2007.

It was the second month this year to see record-breaking amounts of rain, after this April became the wettest in the records dating back more than a century to 1910.

June saw long, prolonged rainfall and short but exceptionally heavy showers, and ended with freak storms which battered areas of the Midlands and the North East. The exceptional amount of rain caused floods in Wales and parts of England.

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