Midlands UK Severe Flooding
Photo: Reuters/YouTube

Midlands in Crisis as UK Declares Major Incident with Southern England Grappling with Severe Flooding and Motorway Shutdowns

Following relentless heavy rainfall in southern England, a major incident has been declared in the Midlands, prompting the closure of motorways and raising concerns about potential evacuations in flood-prone areas.

Nottinghamshire County Council took action, citing rising levels along the River Trent as a cause for major concern. Forecasts predict that the river’s peaks could reach levels close to the highest recorded in 2000, prompting officials to advise residents in flood-risk areas to prepare for possible evacuations.

The council’s statement highlighted that key tributaries like the River Derwent, the River Soar, and the River Dove had already reached their peaks. As these tributaries feed into the River Trent, it is anticipated that flooding to properties and roads will occur. Emergency support from councils, the Environment Agency, and emergency services is being provided to affected communities.

The aftermath of Storm Henk, which hit the region in recent days, exacerbated the situation as heavy rainfall hit already-saturated ground, leading to potential flooding. In addition to the immediate impact on communities, travel chaos ensued, with motorways, including the M27 in Hampshire, being closed overnight. Rail travel faced disruptions, prompting Great Western Railway (GWR) to advise against rail travel due to potential flooding. Network Rail identified key sites at risk in Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall.

GWR specified “most at risk” areas, including routes between Swindon and Bristol Temple Meads, Newton Abbot and Plymouth, Exeter and Tiverton Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-super-Mare, and Taunton and Westbury.

South Western Railway (SWR) also anticipated disruptions, stating that “extreme rainfall” would impact services from Thursday afternoon onwards. Yellow weather warnings for rain persist, with the Met Office extending the warning until 3 am on Friday, January 5, as the rainfall is expected to move northeast across the southern part of the country.

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