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Flood fears after torrential downpours soak West Midlands

By Andrew Turton | News | Published:

Torrential downpours brought the risk of flooding to parts of the Black Country and Staffordshire amid difficult driving conditions.

Heavy rain made for tricky driving conditions around the West Midlands

Met Office forecasters warned that “rainfall totals are starting to mount up” after heavy, persistent rain fell over the West Midlands on Saturday and into Sunday.

Large patches of standing water pooled on roads with spray a problem on busier routes.

Yellow weather warnings were put in place from 6pm on Saturday to 5pm on Sunday, warning of “persistent” rain and a risk of flooding across the north-west and south-west of England and Wales.

In total 12 flood alerts were issued across the West Midlands today.

The Environment Agency urged people to be aware for possible flooding for the River Stour and Smestow Brook in the Black Country and south Staffordshire.

There were also concerns about the River Tame and adjourning Ford Brook through parts of Walsall.

Flood risk alerts

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A flood alert was issued for the River Stour and Smestow Brook after continued downpours across the weekend.

At this stage property is not thought to be at risk but officials urged people to be alert amid forecasts for further rain.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "River levels are forecast to rise at the Stourbridge river gauge as a result of persistent heavy rainfall forecast to fall into Sunday.

"Consequently, flooding of roads and farmland is possible.

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"This Flood Alert is issued at a precaution based on the forecasts. At the moment no flooding of property is expected. We are closely monitoring the situation. Our incident response staff have been out clearing trash screens.

"Please plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded and avoid using low lying footpaths and bridges near local watercourses."

Officials also issued a flood alert for the River Tame in parts of Birmingham and Ford Brook between Walsall and Bescot.

A spokesman said: "Flooding is affecting low-lying land and roads adjacent to the River Tame between Horseley Heath and Castle Vale and the Ford Brook between Walsall and Bescot.

"Further rainfall is forecast over the next 12 hours.

"We expect river levels to remain high until Monday. We are closely monitoring the situation. Our incident response staff are actively checking river levels and the weather forecast."

Trescott Ford, near Wolverhampton, was once again flooded with Staffordshire Police warning motorists to avoid the area.

Officers were diverting traffic away from Furnace Grange Road.

There were also flooded roads through Illey, near Halesowen, and Ravenhayes Lane and Frankley Hill Lane, in Frankley.

Flood alerts were also issued for the River Rae affecting parts of Birmingham.

Water levels in the rivers Sow and Penk between Staffordshire and Shropshire were also high.

Roads next to the River Sow between Great Bridgeford and Shugborough, the River Penk between Coven and Stafford, the Sandyford Brook, the Rising Brook, the Ridings Brook and the Saredon Brook could be affected.

WATCH: Latest UK forecast

Sunday morning forecast 29/09/19

Just a week ago, parts of the country were basking in 26C heat.

Mark Wilson, a meteorologist with the Met Office, said: “It’s going to be a pretty unsettled 24 hours – we’ve already had pretty heavy rain across central and southern parts of the UK and those rainfall tallies are starting to mount up.

“It’s going to be quite wet across much of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and it will be quite windy particularly across the south coast, although through Sunday it will slowly clear its way eastward.

“There’s quite a wet day to come across most of northern England with some heavy showers moving up from the south – we will see some strong winds too.”

Mr Wilson said that Sunday would see a quieter evening, only for the heavy rain to return to much of the country on Monday.

Areas such as Devon and Cornwall could see coastal gales of up to 50mph, while between 30mm and 40mm of rain is expected to fall within the warning area over the weekend.

Cities including Manchester, Liverpool, Bangor, Swansea and Cardiff are also covered by the weather warning.

Bournemouth
A surfer takes to the sea off Bournemouth beach in Dorset (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A fresh yellow weather warning is due to come into force at the beginning of next week, stretching from North Yorkshire down to the south of Wales.

On Saturday evening, Gwent Police reported that sections of road in the county were under water, while South Wales Police also warned of treacherous conditions.

South Wales Police tweeted: “There are some really poor driving conditions in parts of South Wales this evening, remember: Leave a safe and increased distance to the vehicle in front; give yourself extra time for your journey; use dipped headlights; be considerate of all other road users.”

Gwent Police posted: “We are receiving reports that the A4042 near the old Sainsbury’s site in Newport is completely flooded.

“The fire brigade and local authorities are attending shortly to try and clear the road. All motorists are advised to use alternative routes.”

Earlier on Saturday, a mudslide in North Yorkshire caused by heavy rain blocked train lines between Lancaster and Skipton.

The bad weather follows on from an unsettled Friday, which saw a water spout form near the Isle of Scalpay in the Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland.

A photo of a water spout pictured on Friday from a property on the Isle of Scalpay (Callum Beag Macleod/PA)

The weather warning has already led to the cancellation of the inaugural Regatta London race, which was due to take place on the River Thames on Sunday.

Organisers said they were unable to safely run the event due to “stormy weather” affecting the river’s water quality.

Andrew Turton

By Andrew Turton
Digital Journalist

Digital journalist based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton. Interested in breaking news and social media. Get in touch on Twitter @aturton_star or andrew.turton@expressandstar.co.uk

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