Storm Dennis causes severe flooding, hammers Britain

Pan Pylas
Associated Press

London — Storm Dennis hammered Britain Sunday, bringing a month’s worth of rain in just 48 hours to parts of South Wales, which bore the brunt of the country’s second severe storm inside a week.

Rivers across Britain burst their banks and a number of severe flood warnings remained in place as authorities strove to get people to safety and to protect homes and businesses. The Met Office, Britain’s meteorological service. said the disruption is set to carry through into Monday.

Major incidents have been declared in a number of areas in England and Wales as authorities mobilized resources to deal with the impact of the overflowing rivers that have cut off some communities.

A man in his 60s died after falling into the River Tawe in South Wales mid-morning and his body was found further along the river, Dyfed-Powys Police said on social media. Police said his death was not being treated as suspicious or being linked to the bad weather.

Powerful waves break on the shoreline around the small port of Porthleven, south west England, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020.

On Saturday, Storm Dennis was blamed for the deaths of two men who were pulled from the sea in separate searches off England’s southeastern coast.

Dennis has been so intense that England posted a record number of flood warnings and alerts and a rare “red warning” for extremely life-threatening flooding was announced for South Wales.

The Met Office, Britain’s meteorological service, only issues its highest red warning when it thinks the weather will be so dangerous there’s a “risk to life” and that people must take immediate action to protect themselves. It was the first time a red warning has been sounded since December 2015.

Though the warning only lasted a few hours, South Wales Police declared a major incident as firefighters and rescue crews continued to help communities following multiple floods, landslides and evacuations. Nearby Gwent Police said residents of Skenfrith, Monmouthshire, were being advised to evacuate due to the flooding.

The Met Office said the highest wind gust recorded was 91 mph at Aberdaron in north Wales on Saturday. It also said a total of 6.1 inches of rain fell at Crai Reservoir in the Welsh county of Powys over 48 hours to Sunday morning. One of the worst-hit areas in South Wales was the village of Nantgarw, Rhondda Cynon Taff, near Cardiff, which saw entire streets left underwater since the early hours of Sunday morning.