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US News Pray the defences HOLD! Anxious Britons bunker behind flood barriers while bracing for a MONTH'S rain today... after blockades arrived too late for the thousands left homeless from Storm Dennis deluge

17:10  19 february  2020
17:10  19 february  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

More than 90 flood warnings in place as rain continues to fall

  More than 90 flood warnings in place as rain continues to fall More than 90 flood warnings remain in place across the UK, as heavy rain threatens those areas already saturated from this week's weather.More than 90 flood warnings remain in place across the UK, as heavy rain threatens those areas already saturated from this week's weather.

Pray the defences HOLD ! Anxious Britons bunker behind flood barriers while bracing for a MONTH ' S rain today after blockades arrived too late for the thousands left homeless from Storm Dennis deluge . Dozens of towns and villages menaced by floods more than 48 hours after

Anxious Britons bunker behind flood barriers while bracing for a MONTH ’ S rain today … after blockades arrived too late for the thousands left Dozens of towns and villages menaced by floods more than 48 hours after Storm Dennis battered Britain Police continue to search for Jean

Flooded gardens on the banks of the River Severn. © Getty Flooded gardens on the banks of the River Severn.

River levels continued to threaten to breach barriers across Britain today as parts of the country braced for a month's worth of rain to fall - along with further hail, thunder, gales and snow this week.

It came as a missing 87-year-old woman thought to have fallen into a flooded river was feared to become the sixth death from Storm Dennis in five days, as flood-hit communities endured further downpours.

a group of people sitting at a dock: People eat in front of temporary flood defences today in Bewdley, Worcestershire, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis © Provided by Daily Mail People eat in front of temporary flood defences today in Bewdley, Worcestershire, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis Police continued to search for Jean Disney, of Tiverton, Devon, who is thought to have fallen into the River Exe early on Monday morning, and urged local residents trying to help out to not approach any flooded areas. 

'We cannot protect everyone': New environment secretary George Eustice warns over climate change as Storm Dennis brings worst flooding for a generation

  'We cannot protect everyone': New environment secretary George Eustice warns over climate change as Storm Dennis brings worst flooding for a generation George Eustice (pictured) warned the nature of climate change means extreme weather events such as this weekend's deluge are becoming more common, advising: 'We have to live with that fact.'New Environment Secretary George Eustice risked sparking anger in flood-hit areas yesterday after warning he will 'never be able to protect every single household' from extreme weather.

Pray the defences HOLD ! Anxious Britons bunker behind flood He told BBC Radio 4' s Today programme: 'But, amazingly, it' s the third time in seven-and-a-half years that this Owners of flood -hit homes will be able to apply for a £500 emergency grant and exemption from paying council tax, the

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Dozens of towns and villages across Britain have been menaced by the floods more than 48 hours after Storm Dennis hit, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under pressure to call an emergency Cobra meeting.

Nearly 1,500 properties have been flooded and thousands more evacuated, with more rain building up in the West throughout this morning and up to 4in (100mm) of rain in North Wales over the next few days. 

a bridge over a body of water: Temporary flood barriers hold back the River Severn in Ironbridge, Shropshire, this morning in the aftermath of Storm Dennis © Provided by Daily Mail Temporary flood barriers hold back the River Severn in Ironbridge, Shropshire, this morning in the aftermath of Storm Dennis

The rain will then move north, with Cumbria and Yorkshire likely to be most affected by the weekend. Both the Rivers Wye and Severn will remain especially high into the weekend, after both broke records this week.

Irish weather forecast: Status Orange wind warning for nine counties comes into effect at 10am as Storm Dennis batters Ireland

  Irish weather forecast: Status Orange wind warning for nine counties comes into effect at 10am as Storm Dennis batters Ireland It will expire at 10pm tonight, as long as it is not extended by weather chiefs throughout the day . © Provided by Irish Mirror The predicted path of Storm Dennis The caution reads: “Status Orange - Wind warning for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick Southwest winds with mean speeds of 60 to 80 km/h with severe gusts of up to 120km/h, strongest on exposed hills and coasts, with a risk of coastal flooding.” It comes after Storm Dennis wreaked havoc across Ireland yesterday, with more awful conditions expected today.

Pray the defences HOLD ! Anxious Britons bunker behind flood Britain UNDER water! Up to 30 riverside properties were evacuated amid fears that water could breach barriers and engulf the town. But only a handful of homes were affected as the Environment Agency said its protective measures

Forecasters warn six inches of rain could fall in less than 24 hours causing serious issues for already flooded north. Just two days later and the water has finally eased away today (right), as residents brace for another storm later tonight. Too much water: Flood defences have struggled to cope

More than 300 flood warnings or alerts were in place for England, including six severe 'danger to life' warnings, with the worst affected areas of the UK being South Wales, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

Gallery: Storm Dennis wreaks havoc

About 800 homes in Wales have been flooded, along with nearly 600 in England – including almost 400 in the West Mercia Police area – and about four miles of temporary flood barriers have been erected across the UK. 

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Defences in a flood-threatened Worcestershire town are 'holding up' - but more rain is on the way.

a herd of sheep walking along a river next to a body of water: An aerial view of Upton-upon-Severn in the Malvern Hills area of Worcestershire this morning following severe flooding © Provided by Daily Mail An aerial view of Upton-upon-Severn in the Malvern Hills area of Worcestershire this morning following severe flooding In Bewdley, which straddles the River Severn north of Worcester, the barriers that protect businesses and homes on either bank were enough to keep the water at bay on Wednesday.

The river had been expected to peak of about 17ft (5.2 metres) - well above normal levels.

The Environment Agency is keeping a close eye on the defences there and in other places along the Severn, including Ironbridge upstream and Upton-upon-Severn downstream.

The barriers in Bewdley have been doing their job, despite a 'remarkable' amount of water still working its way down the river channel.

A steady stream of curious onlookers have been drawn to the historic town's main bridge - currently closed - to see how close the water has come to topping the barriers.

an old brick building with grass in front of a house: Houses are surrounded by flood water this morning in Ironbridge, Shropshire, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis © Provided by Daily Mail Houses are surrounded by flood water this morning in Ironbridge, Shropshire, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis However, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service has warned people against taking the risk of getting too close to floodwaters simply to get pictures.

'Stay away from flood areas if you don't have a genuine reason to be there,' the brigade said. Residents are carrying on as normal despite the water rushing past a few yards away, with businesses open as normal.

The closure of the main road has seen community members setting up a free bus route, with a vintage double-decker taking people from one side of the town.

The water is at its highest level in the town for 20 years, according to the Environment Agency, which is preparing for more rain.

Dave Throup, Environment Agency manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, said: 'As it stands, our defences are all holding up.

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'There's huge amount of water against them so we're monitoring that very closely at the moment. But at the moment things are okay at Bewdley.'

a group of people that are standing in the water: A woman carrying shopping bags wades through flood water as she returns home today in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire © Provided by Daily Mail A woman carrying shopping bags wades through flood water as she returns home today in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire Attention is starting to turn to the situation down-river, where levels in Worcester - which had dropped back in the last two days - are expected to rise again.

Mr Throup said: 'Further down towards Upton-upon-Severn, we still have severe flood warnings in place there and that's because we do expect levels to rise again slightly and they are already exceptionally high.

'So we will be monitoring that again very closely through today with staff at Upton.'

As time goes on the water will feed down into Gloucestershire, where 'some big levels' are expected later.

'The only saving factor there is there's not much water coming down the River Avon,' Mr Throup said. 'So that may allow things to spread out a little bit.

a bridge over a body of water: The River Thames breaches its banks at the Flowing Springs in Sonning, Oxfordshire, this morning © Provided by Daily Mail The River Thames breaches its banks at the Flowing Springs in Sonning, Oxfordshire, this morning 'Unfortunately it's not out of the woods, even then, because we're looking at rainfall for today, tomorrow and right through the weekend, which potentially could affect the tops of the catchments, which is just not where we want to be at all.

'But we will be prepared, so we're working with our forecasters on that for scenarios going through the weekend.'

Kate Marks of the Environment Agency (EA) said while Storm Dennis had passed, 'we'll be feeling the impacts for a few more days'. 

a house with trees in the background: The Riverside Caravan Park Houses surrounded by floods today in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis © Provided by Daily Mail The Riverside Caravan Park Houses surrounded by floods today in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis 'There's a lot more water in the river systems. In particular we are worried about the Rivers Severn, Teme and Wye,' Dr Marks said.

Residents in the Shropshire towns of Ironbridge and Bridgnorth were urged to evacuate their properties, while residents in Bewdley near Kidderminster were warned flood barriers at Beales Corner might not be able to withstand the rising water levels. 

a person riding a bicycle in front of a building: A man rides a bike through floods as pumps and barriers help to keep the water from flooding homes in Tewkesbury today © Provided by Daily Mail A man rides a bike through floods as pumps and barriers help to keep the water from flooding homes in Tewkesbury today

Deputy Chief Constable Julian Moss said: 'Water levels have been unprecedented in many places and the impact of such high-levels of flooding has been substantial across all the agencies, but more significantly to members of the public affected in any way.'

The EA said 599 properties had been flooded across England as of Tuesday afternoon. Some 800 homes in Wales have been directly affected by flooding, First Minister Mark Drakeford told the BBC.

More than 6km (3.7miles) of temporary flood barriers have been erected across the country and flood defences have protected nearly 25,000 properties from the impacts of the storm, the EA said.

a small boat in a body of water in front of a brick building: A man surveys flood water as pumps and flood barriers help to keep the water from flooding homes in Tewkesbury today © Provided by Daily Mail A man surveys flood water as pumps and flood barriers help to keep the water from flooding homes in Tewkesbury today But record-breaking river levels and continued rainfall means further flooding is possible across much of the country, said EA executive director of flood and coastal risk management John Curtin.

'We expect further disruptive weather into tomorrow and Thursday, bringing a significant flood risk to the West Midlands, and there are flood warnings in place across much of England,' he said.

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for persistent rain in Wales and north-west England for today and tomorrow, and the North of England on Friday into Saturday.

a view of a city: The town of Upton-upon-Severn has been turned into an inland island by floodwaters which now completely surround it today © Provided by Daily Mail The town of Upton-upon-Severn has been turned into an inland island by floodwaters which now completely surround it today

EA manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Dave Throup said the level of flooding had left affected parts in 'uncharted territory'.

Storm Dennis claimed the life of Yvonne Booth, from the Great Barr area of Birmingham, who was swept away by floodwater near Tenbury in Worcestershire on Sunday.

a close up of a river: An aerial view of Upton-upon-Severn this morning where residents are still on high alert as the town sits surrounded by water © Provided by Daily Mail An aerial view of Upton-upon-Severn this morning where residents are still on high alert as the town sits surrounded by water Six severe flood warnings remained in place today for the River Severn at New Street and Waterside, Upton on Severn, the River Wye and the River Lugg at Hampton Bishop, and the River Severn at Ironbridge and Uckinghall.

In Wales, two severe warnings in place on the River Wye at Monmouth were downgraded by Natural Resources Wales, although the Wye bridge in the town remained closed.

A van sits in floodwater near the village of Hampton Bishop near Hereford. © PA A van sits in floodwater near the village of Hampton Bishop near Hereford. Hundreds of residential and commercial properties have been flooded and several hundred people have either moved upstairs or found alternative accommodation.

Mountain rescue teams evacuated an elderly man from his home on a flooded road by breaking down his back door with a sledgehammer and taking him to safety on a raft. 

Other neighbours on the A466 ventured to a nearby Lidl supermarket on canoes to pick up their food shopping. And drinking water supplies were hit after a treatment works in Monmouthshire flooded. 

a little girl that is standing in the rain: A woman carrying shopping bags wades through flood water as she returns to her home in Tewkesbury this morning © Provided by Daily Mail A woman carrying shopping bags wades through flood water as she returns to her home in Tewkesbury this morning Welsh Water asked people in Monmouth to reduce their usage. Over the weekend, the River Taff in Pontypridd reached its highest level in more than 40 years and the River Usk reached the highest level since 1979.

The River Trent, which had prompted a severe flood warning for Burton-on-Trent, also peaked at record levels of just below four metres (13ft) yesterday.

MPs have questioned why Boris Johnson has chosen to remain holed up at the Government's Chevening grace-and-favour mansion in Kent while the crisis unfolds and asked why he had not called a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee to handle the official response.

a person standing in front of a brick building: A woman and child enter a cottage on Gloucester Road in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, this morning © Provided by Daily Mail A woman and child enter a cottage on Gloucester Road in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, this morning Craig Whittaker, Tory MP for Calder Valley, said his constituency had been 'really badly' affected, with 1,187 properties flooded.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'But, amazingly, it's the third time in seven-and-a-half years that this has happened to us.'

On the emergency funding scheme announced by Government yesterday night, he said: 'It will make a huge difference, but the problem is we've had to wait so long for it to be triggered.

'It's nine days since the floods in the Calder Valley and I can tell you I've been hammering on doors in Whitehall every day since, trying to get this funding triggered.

' a view of a large body of water with a city in the background: An aerial view of Upton-upon-Severn this morning where residents are still on high alert as the town sits surrounded by water © Provided by Daily Mail An aerial view of Upton-upon-Severn this morning where residents are still on high alert as the town sits surrounded by water The problem is, what happened last time in 2015, Cobra was called because it was very widespread. This time, because it was much more isolated to the Calder Valley, Cobra wasn't called, so all the ministers weren't in one room to agree a funding package.

'The sad thing is all this funding package that was announced last night comes from about seven different departments, and when you don't have a situation where you've got all ministers in one room, getting them to sign off is just incredibly difficult.'

Government announces financial support for flood-hit communities

a small boat in a body of water surrounded by trees © Provided by Daily Mail Owners of flood-hit homes will be able to apply for a £500 emergency grant and exemption from paying council tax, the Communities Secretary has confirmed.

Both homeowners and businesses will be able to seek 100 per cent relief from council tax and business rates respectively as they start to salvage their properties after suffering the impact of storms Dennis and Ciara. 

On top of the £500 hardship relief for individual households, the Government is also fronting up £2,500 to each business hit by flooding.

a group of people riding on the back of a bicycle: People riding their bikes through flood water in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, following the aftermath of Storm Dennis today © Provided by Daily Mail People riding their bikes through flood water in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, following the aftermath of Storm Dennis today And grants worth up to £5,000 will be made available to both businesses and households impacted by the floods to allow them to pay for changes that could help make their properties more resilient in the future.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: 'Storms Dennis and Ciara have severely impacted a large number of households and businesses - and I recognise how destabilising this can be.

'This extra support, including new funding, will help people in the worst-hit areas to recover and get back on their feet as soon as possible.

'I'd like to thank the emergency services and key agencies on the ground for their dedication and tireless work to help everyone affected in extremely challenging circumstances.'

The Cabinet minister also announced that the cross-Whitehall Flood Recovery Taskforce would convene this week, bringing together environment, businesses and transport ministers to provide flood-stricken areas with support and guidance.

The financial measures announced apply to those affected in district or unitary authorities that have 25 or more flooded households as a result of storms Ciara and Dennis.

Asked if it would have helped if the emergency funding had come earlier than last night, Mark Garnier, Tory MP for Wyre Forest, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'Yeah, look - if they're running an overdraft and it gets paid off in a week's time then I can live with that.'

He added: 'Yes, absolutely, but, look, I think, as long as the money comes, that's what's really important to me. 

'What I don't want to find is my local authority has had to run up some overdraft or, actually, just as importantly is not delivering the emergency responses that we need because of funding, but I don't get any sense that that's happening.'

He went on: 'Being a humble backbencher I can't guarantee anything but I can absolutely guarantee I will be banging on people's door to make sure they do get that money.'

And Daniel Kawczynski, Tory MP for Shrewsbury, said yesterday: 'Given the flooding crisis in our constituencies why has Commons not been recalled?' 

He said that more Government funding and flood defence schemes were needed in the Shropshire town, where flood waters blocked main roads yesterday.

Labour MP for Halifax, Holly Lynch, said: 'His refusal to call a Cobra meeting has really hampered the recovery of lots of different communities.'

However, last night Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced he would trigger the Flood Recovery Framework, releasing thousands of pounds of aid for flooded homes and businesses.

It means flood-hit homes and businesses can apply for up to £5,000 to help make them more resilient against future flooding.

Households can also apply for up to £500 in financial hardship payments and 100 per cent council tax relief, while flooded businesses can apply for up to £2,500 and 100 per cent business rates relief.

The Environment Agency claims that existing defences have protected at least 20,000 properties while the Government has promised to invest £4billion in flood defences over the next five years. 

 

It's raining cats, dogs...and sheep! Storm Dennis floods spark dramatic animal rescues including farmer who braved freezing waters to save her lambs

These are the amazing scenes as a farmer risks her life by entering freezing Storm Dennis flood water to rescue some lambs. 

Faye Russell, 26, tied a rope around her waist and handed the end to a neighbour and members of her team before entering the flood water. 

The farmer from Derbyshire was one of a number of people who rescued animals caught out by last weekend's deluge, including a staff and a veterinary surgery who had to rescue pets at risk inside their rapidly flooding building.    

Ms Russell was forced to act after the torrential rains brought by Storm Dennis started flooding her fields which had already been soaked by Storm Ciara. 

She told The Metro: 'I said I'm going to have to go first. I didn't fancy filling out the accident book for anybody else.  If I got in a bit of danger they could pull me out. There were two people on the end of the rope because the current was so strong. It was fierce.

'It got quite choppy. I was swimming and had lambs under my arms trying to keep them above water. I had clothes and wellingtons on and they were full of water.' 

On Saturday, Ms Russell and her border collie Tom moved her 300-strong flock to higher ground but she did not anticipate the sudden deterioration in the weather. 

a cluttered room: Across much of the UK, Storm Dennis saw flood waters rise as the land was already soaked thoroughly by Storm Ciara © Provided by Daily Mail Across much of the UK, Storm Dennis saw flood waters rise as the land was already soaked thoroughly by Storm Ciara She said: 'The water came at such a force. At 8am we were fine. The sheep had plenty of high ground. But it was really driving rain. The wind and the rain cut me in two. So the sheep took themselves behind the floodbank and effectively watched the tide come in around them.' 

At its height, the flood waters reached more than seven feet in height and presented a major danger to the sheep. 

She continued: 'You just do it, don't you. I said to somebody 'duty calls'. You put your life on the line for your animals, you really do. They come first in any farmer's life. Any farmer will agree they come above yourself and above anything.'

a large long train on a bridge over a body of water: The River Taff burst its banks after a month's worth of rain fell in less than 48 hours © Provided by Daily Mail The River Taff burst its banks after a month's worth of rain fell in less than 48 hours

Ms Dennis said she and her team had just completed the busy lambing season and said farmers haven a close relationship with their animals. 

She said: 'We know them by name. One of them is actually called Pebbles but she was like a big hippopotamus as she swam beside me. They will follow their lambs but you have to give them the confidence to get going. Sheep aren't very good in water but they were pleased to see me when I got across to them.' 

a desk with a computer on a kitchen counter: Inside the surgery, equipment including computers in the office were destroyed by the floods © Provided by Daily Mail Inside the surgery, equipment including computers in the office were destroyed by the floods Ms Dennis said she would especially like to praise her neighbours and the team on her farm for helping her save the lambs.   

In Gwaelod y Garth, Wales, the Valley Veterinary Hospital was hit by five-foot deep flood waters after the River Taff burst its banks. 

The £2 million animal hospital - which had recently been completed - was destroyed by the floods. 

The state-of-the-art veterinary hospital is the most high-tech facility of its kind in Wales and opened just seven months ago, with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of equipment - including a CT scanner, digital x-ray machines and ultrasounds - all destroyed when a month's worth of rain fell in less than 48 hours.

All pets were moved to the building's first floor by staff once river levels rose but soon had to be rescued by firefighters - with one photo showing Border Collie Shadow being floated out of the practice on a sofa cushion.

Mark Evans, VetPartners Business Development Director for South Wales, said: 'The crew from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service that attended were incredible.

'They had to smash their way through glass panels at the front of the building to gain access.

'The team was evacuated on boats and dogs were floated out of the building on cushions.

'Our out-of-hours team reacted very quickly, moving patients upstairs as soon as they were aware the river was rising.

'They also moved equipment onto work surfaces, but such was the speed of the flooding that the counter tops were eventually submerged as the whole hospital was under 5ft of water in less than an hour.

a building covered in snow: According to staff at the surgery, the water level rose by five feet in less than an hour © Provided by Daily Mail According to staff at the surgery, the water level rose by five feet in less than an hour a close up of a door: Luckily no one was hurt by the flood in Wales and all of the animals were rescued safely © Provided by Daily Mail Luckily no one was hurt by the flood in Wales and all of the animals were rescued safely

'This was a disaster but we will bounce back strongly. It has been harrowing for everyone involved, but the morale of the team has been incredible.'

No one was hurt, and all staff and pets are now recovering from the ordeal with the animal patients being cared for at one of four branch surgeries elsewhere in Wales.

The damage is currently being assessed and the two-storey hospital, which was opened in an empty warehouse in July, will not be fully functional again for six months.

Valley Vets is part of UK veterinary group, VetPartners.

VetPartners CEO Jo Malone said: 'The team at Valley Vets have shown such bravery and commitment in the last few days.

'They are determined to continue providing outstanding care to their patients and that is and always has been their primary focus.

'They have been through a harrowing time over the past few days, and the entire VetPartners family will help them in any way we can.' 

 

Emergency inspections for more than 20 former coal tips in the Welsh valleys over fears Storm Dennis could cause another Aberfan-style disaster

More than 20 former coal tips in the Welsh valleys are having emergency inspections over fears Storm Dennis could cause another Aberfan-style disaster.

One huge landslide at a former tip-site was caught on video as thousands of tonnes of coal fell from the mountainside drenched by heavy rain.

Experts fear dangerous landslides could cause another tragedy like Aberfan - where 144 people were killed when a coal tip fell on a village school.

a group of people standing on top of a mountain: The scene of a landslide in the Rhondda valley yesterday in Tylorstown, South Wales © Provided by Daily Mail The scene of a landslide in the Rhondda valley yesterday in Tylorstown, South Wales

An enormous landslide in Tylorstown in the neighbouring Rhondda valley happened on Sunday - just 10 miles from the 1966 disaster in Aberfan where 116 children died.

Further landslides have taken place across South Wales over the past few days - with falling debris closing roads and causing havoc.

The coal authority says 24 emergency inspections are now being carried out on former industrial sites to ensure a tragedy is avoided.

Mining historian Dr Ben Curtis said the Tylerstown landlslide 'evokes memories' of Aberfan.

the desert is on the side of a mountain: Inspections of old coal tips on the mountains in the Rhondda are underway following a landslide during Storm Dennis © Provided by Daily Mail Inspections of old coal tips on the mountains in the Rhondda are underway following a landslide during Storm Dennis

He said: 'The Aberfan disaster was such an unspeakably horrific thing that cast a deep shadow over popular memory in the area,' he said.

'So whenever we see anything like this, which is distressing in itself, it evokes images of Aberfan.

'Work was done after that disaster to deal with a lot of the tips with an emphasis on the tips that posed the greatest risk. However there was another slide in 1973 above Cwmavon, which caused an evacuation of the village.

'But events over the last few days show landslides are something we still can't disregard.'

Former miner Cliff Durham watched the Tylorstown landslide as it happened on Sunday.

Workers appear to inspect a landslide in the Rhondda valley yesterday in Tylorstown, South Wales © Provided by Daily Mail Workers appear to inspect a landslide in the Rhondda valley yesterday in Tylorstown, South Wales

He said: 'As soon as I saw this, I thought of Aberfan straight away. Believe me - you don't want to see that again.

'There's tonnes and tonnes of coal still around. The authorities should drill it so the water could go down but they can't leave it like that.

'They've got to take it away because it could come again.'

But Lisa Pinney, chief executive of the Coal Authority, said inspections were being carried out to keep communities safe.

She said: 'We haven't seen any major issues at any of these sites but we are ensuring that all drainage channels and trash screens are free from debris so they perform as they should.

a person standing in front of a mountain: A man looks on at a landslide in the Rhondda valley yesterday in Tylorstown as inspections of old coal tips continue © Provided by Daily Mail A man looks on at a landslide in the Rhondda valley yesterday in Tylorstown as inspections of old coal tips continue

'We regularly inspect our sites and remotely monitor key sites so we're alerted to any movement.'

Experts at the British Geological Society said South Wales is prone to landslides.

Engineering geologist Ashley Patton said: 'Landslides are caused by a combination of geology, the shape and steepness of the slopes and some sort of trigger, which in this case was the heavy rainfall.

'Wales is prone to landslides because it often has that mix.

'Wales also has sites where there is a lot of loose material left by man which have changed what nature put there.

'Wherever you have this material it can have an impact on the likelihood of landslides, even when it has been stable for years.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Experts fear dangerous landslides could cause another tragedy like Aberfan - where 144 people were killed when a coal tip fell on a village school in October 1966 © Provided by Daily Mail Experts fear dangerous landslides could cause another tragedy like Aberfan - where 144 people were killed when a coal tip fell on a village school in October 1966

'These landslides can be very dangerous. At the moment we have saturated slopes and if we see more rain, it is only going to exacerbate the situation.'

Meanwhile flooded families are bracing themselves for more rain as further weather warnings have been issued for South Wales.

a group of people posing for a photo: The Queen and Prince Philip visit Aberfan in South Wales to comfort the families of the 144 people who died when a coal tip collapsed on the local school in October 1966 © Provided by Daily Mail The Queen and Prince Philip visit Aberfan in South Wales to comfort the families of the 144 people who died when a coal tip collapsed on the local school in October 1966

Another huge downpour is due to hit areas that have already been beset by bad weather - and five flood warnings are in place.

The warnings come as council leaders said families could be left homeless as their houses are condemned by environmental health officials.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council leader Andrew Morgan said 800 homes had been hit in his area alone.

He said: 'We have to consider homelessness because some houses will not be able to be lived in for some time.'

The Welsh Government has promised £10million for councils to spend on flood relief, but Mr Morgan says the bill is likely to be much higher.

He said: 'That £10m is the initial amount for householders and businesses and we have released £1m from our own reserves. No doubt we will have to release more in the coming weeks.

'But the repair bill is going to run into millions and millions of pounds.'

He said the Labour-run council had been 'simply overwhelmed' by the flooding.

He added: 'We've done as much as we possibly could, but we need to look at it again as these storms seem to be happening more frequently.'

In Monmouth, South Wales, utilities officials have delivered 40 huge tankers of water after a treatment centre was washed out by rain and residents were told to ration their use.

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water said: 'Reducing water use now will ensure that we can restore full supplies as quickly as possible once we can access our site.'

 

Floods inspire 'Dunkirk spirit': Locals rally round to help families forced out of their homes by rising waters - with donations piling high while churches and leisure centres become refuges

The 'Dunkirk spirit' has seen a revival across the country following Storm Dennis as Britons rally together to help those worst affected. 

Some 30 properties were evacuated on the Wharfage in Ironbridge near Telford, Shropshire on Tuesday morning as a danger to life warning was issued.

The temporary barrier there was expected to be overtopped as the River Severn continued to rise, so elderly residents, council workers and people trying to help amid the flooding took refuge in Cleo's cocktail bar, which opened specially.

Owner Mike Perks, 65, said he had as many as 40 people in at the busiest point to take shelter and refuel with complimentary teas and coffees.

'We've got people drinking teas and coffees and having bacon sandwiches and everything else - the old Dunkirk spirit,' Mr Perks said. He added that he had even served a few pints of Guinness to workers 'who have been going for hours and hours and hours' to protect against flooding.

Elsewhere in the country, Pontypridd in Wales was battered by Storm Dennis over the weekend, but as families were left without homes, strangers were quick to offer their help, and a small community centre was overwhelmed with donations to help those affected.

a large brown brick building: Flooded cottages in Monmouth in the aftermath of Storm Dennis on February 18, 2020 © Provided by Daily Mail Flooded cottages in Monmouth in the aftermath of Storm Dennis on February 18, 2020 a bunch of stuffed animals in a room: Pictured are donations, including heaps of children's cuddly toys, for flood victims at Treforest community centre © Provided by Daily Mail Pictured are donations, including heaps of children's cuddly toys, for flood victims at Treforest community centre

A small group at Treforest Community Centre, dubbed the 'unsung heroes', put together plans to get people aid.  

Secretary of the centre, Cheryl Jarman, 58, explained they decided to ask people who were willing to donate unwanted items to help those who had lost everything in the floods.

A post was published on social media and the centre has had thousands of donations including household items, food, toiletries, and stuffed toys for displaced children.   

Mrs Jarman said: 'We have had a back up of bags this week as donations keep coming through the door.

'I've never seen anything like this at all. We've had things for babies, prams, clothes, toiletries - anything you can think of.

'We have been overwhelmed by the reaction here.'

People have even donated beds, TVs, and Sky boxes. Transit vans were delivering toiletries and baby supplies, along with boxes of fresh fruit and daffodils.

On Monday Mrs Jarman opened up at around 9am thinking she'd be there for 10 minutes to speak to an electrician.

She didn't leave until 10.20pm because people kept arriving bringing donated goods through the door.

Mick Antoniw et al. standing in a room: Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford (centre) and Member of the Welsh Assembly for Pontypridd, Mick Antoniw (right), with resident Caroline Jones inspecting flood damage at her house in Oxford Street, Nantgarw, in south Wales, February 17 © Provided by Daily Mail Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford (centre) and Member of the Welsh Assembly for Pontypridd, Mick Antoniw (right), with resident Caroline Jones inspecting flood damage at her house in Oxford Street, Nantgarw, in south Wales, February 17

The centre has received so much it's sending some to other venues like Trallwn Community Centre and Hapi Hub in Rhydyfelin to make sure all communities have enough to go around.

'We just want to say how thankful we are,' said Mrs Jarman. 'Can we just say how grateful we are for the generosity of others.

'There was a two-year-old here this morning and it broke her little heart - she has nothing.

'We are trying to help people and they're saying 'give it to someone who needs it', and they have nothing.

'People are proud and they don't want to take anything.'  

Churches in Pontypridd also opened their doors to offer refuge to those left stranded by the deluge. 

Families living along the River Severn were evacuated from their homes as a city braced itself for its highest flood levels since 2014.

Residents in Hempsted and Alney Island, Gloucester, were told they were 'at risk' from the rising river levels, with some choosing to pack up and spend the night in a rest centre.

a man riding on the back of a boat in the water: A member of the public wades through floodwaters after flooding in Nantgarw, Wales as Storm Dennis hit, February 16 © Provided by Daily Mail A member of the public wades through floodwaters after flooding in Nantgarw, Wales as Storm Dennis hit, February 16

Red flood warnings remain in place along the Severn with new predictions that water levels could top 4.5m in Gloucester, just 42cm shy of the 2007 peak.

In 2014, the last time homes were evacuated, flood defences held and the area on the far side of Westgate Bridge was not flooded.

Councillor Dawn Melvin has spent part of the evening in her ward as residents prepare for high tide at 3am.

She said the people of Alney Island have either 'hunkered down' or evacuated their homes.

Cllr Melvin said: 'People were evacuating, but all I will say is many of those people are the salt of the earth. They are so resilient, it's frightening.

'Even ones with small babies have been putting their furniture on anything they could to get it off the ground or moving everything to the first floor.'

Gloucestershire Police said officers had been out in at risk areas offering advice to residents.

A force spokesperson said: 'People have been advised that they are at risk of flooding.

a person riding a bicycle in front of a building: A man rides a bike through flood water, as pumps and flood barriers help to keep the water from flooding homes in Gloucester Road in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, February 19 © Provided by Daily Mail A man rides a bike through flood water, as pumps and flood barriers help to keep the water from flooding homes in Gloucester Road in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, February 19

'The neighbourhood team have been around advising and have told them they can go to the rescue centre at the GL1 Leisure Centre.'

Cllr Melvin added that 'en masse people have been hunkering down' and the community have been helping each other to move furniture and the like.

She went on to commend the 'level of community in that area' while the Environment Agency were pumping water out of the River Severn.

Cllr Melvin, who represents Westgate on Gloucester City Council, said: 'People have been bringing out cups of tea and checking the Environment Agency have sandwiches.

'Some of these people, God-willing, they will have lost nothing but they might and they probably all know that they might.'

Red flood warnings were issued for Alney Island, Gloucester, Hempsted, Minsterworth and Stonebench, Sandhurst and Maisemore, and Trigworth and Longford.

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usr: 0
This is interesting!