Flood warnings MAPPED: Storm Bella spells danger to life as WHOLE of UK under alert

UK weather: Storm Bella forecast to bring ‘nasty’ conditions

Heavy rain and flooding has already forced thousands from their homes, with many spending Christmas in their cars after being evacuated. And more wet and windy weather is yet to come with the arrival of the incoming Storm Bella due to hit the UK on Boxing Day. The Met Office has already issued a raft of weather warnings for wind and rain as a result of the barreling storm.

The UK weather forecaster warned strong gusts of up to 80mph will smash into the south of England on December 26 as Storm Bella hits.

Homes on the south coast are at risk of “flying debris”, which the Met Office warned could lead to Injuries or danger to life.

There’s also the risk of large waves and beach material being thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and properties.

An amber warning is in place from 10pm on Boxing Day until 9am on Sunday, December 27, affecting parts of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, East Sussex and Kent.

While the rest of the UK is covered by a yellow wind warning, which is in effect for the whole of England from 3pm tomorrow.

The Met Office said: “An area of strong southwesterly winds will develop across parts of northern England and the far south of Scotland on Saturday afternoon, before transferring southeastwards across the rest of England and Wales into Sunday morning, clearing by early Sunday afternoon.

“Inland gusts of 50-60 mph are likely, with the potential for 60-70 mph in some locations. Hills and coasts exposed to the southwesterly winds could see gusts of 70-80 mph.

“In addition to the strong winds, a period of heavy, squally rain will affect western and southern areas.

“Combined with strong winds, the rain will lead to some hazardous travelling conditions.”

Much of Britain has seen relatively calm and cold conditions on Christmas Day, with the UK weather service declaring it a White Christmas after some smatterings of snow fell in the early hours of the morning.

But thousands of people living in Bedfordshire have been urged to leave their home after a period of heavy rain has raised the risk of potentially deadly floods.

Bedfordshire Police “strongly urged” residents living near the River Great Ouse to flee their homes on Friday night, with Superintendent Steve Ashdown warning they are predicting a “significant flooding event by 8pm this evening”.

He said in a video on social media: “If you received one of those notices last night, you are in one of those properties that are most at risk from this flood. We would encourage you to leave if it is safe for you to do so, as soon as you are able to do so.

“Appreciate the timing of this at Christmas Day is not great, but the risk to you and your family and wellbeing is significant.”

In Northamptonshire, a major incident was declared by Fire and Rescue Service on Thursday evening – with five crews and four specialist water teams searching 1,100 caravans after hundreds were evacuated on Christmas Eve due to high water levels.

And there’s even more areas at risk of the oncoming storm, which is due to hit Britain on Boxing Day as millions of people wake up to Tier 4 restrictions.

Severe flood warnings are in place at:

  • Cogenhoe Mill Caravan Site
  • River Nene at Billing Aquadrome and nearby business parks

At Cogenhoe, the warning reads: “River levels have peaked upstream and flood water is still making its way down the catchment. The Northampton Washlands storage has been fully utilised and deep, fast flowing river water is continuing to flood Cogenhoe Mill Caravan Site.

“The site has been evacuated. There continues to be a severe risk to life due to the challenging conditions, including; deep flood water, floating debris and loss of utility services across the site.”

There are a further 82 flood warnings, where flooding is expected and people are advised to follow evacuation advice.

Another 102 areas are under a flood alert, which means flooding is possible in these towns and communities.

You can find a full list of the flood warnings on the Environment Agency website. 

The EA said in a forecast from December 25 to December 29 that local flooding will continue into Friday evening and through the weekend as the storm hits.

As well as heavy rain, flooding caused by rising rivers and surface water could also cause chaos for some communities.

The report said: “Properties may flood and there may be travel disruption. Local flooding from rivers and surface water is probable more widely across Wales and the south and west of England on Saturday and Sunday.

“Ongoing river flooding is also expected at times until Tuesday along rivers in the south of England and the Welsh borders including the rivers Thames, Severn, Teme and Wye.

“Land, roads and some properties may flood and there may be travel disruption.

“Coastal flooding impacts are possible along exposed parts of the south and south-east coasts of England on Saturday and Sunday due to the potential for severe gales and large waves.

“Land, roads and some properties may flood and there may be travel disruption.

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