Storm Bella to cause Boxing day chaos with severe flooding and 70mph winds

The UK is set to be hit with strong winds and severe flooding on Boxing Day.

Storm Bella will bring winds of up to 70mph with heavy downpours and flooding expected throughout the weekend.

The Met Office has warned of strong winds in exposed coastal locations as well as damage to buildings, flying debris and power cuts.

It comes as last night 1,300 homes were encouraged to evacuate in Bedford after a "danger to life" warning was issued by The Environmental Agency amid severe flooding.

Brits in affected areas are being warned to look out for falling tiles from roofs and travel cancellations.

Mobile phone coverage may even be affected as Brits battle the storm.

The Met Office said: "Storm Bella will bring disruption to travel and utilities over parts of south and southeast England and south Wales.

"Very strong southwesterly winds are expected for parts of south and southeast England and south Wales on Sunday morning.

"Inland gusts of 50-60 mph are likely with a few spots likely to see 60-70 mph for a time.

"Hills and particularly coasts exposed to the southwesterly winds will see a few gusts of 70-80 mph.

"In addition to the strong winds, a period of heavy, squally rain is expected and may prove an additional hazard."

A total of 5 weather warnings are in place across the country, reports The Mirror.

  • Moment couple rescued from submerged car after being trapped underwater for two hours

An amber wind warning, which warns travel could be disrupted, has been issued for parts of south Wales and across southern England for today.

A yellow warning of wind for the whole of England and Wales as well as the far south of Scotland has also been issued and will be in force from 3pm on Boxing Day.

A yellow warning for rain has been issued for parts of Scotland, Wales and much of north and south west England and in addition to the strong winds, the Met Office said a period of heavy rain will affect western and southern areas.

Bedfordshire Police on Friday "strongly urged" residents living near the River Great Ouse in north Bedfordshire to seek alternative accommodation due to fears of flooding as the Environment Agency issued a 'danger to life' warning.

On Christmas Day, Superintendent Steve Ashdown, who is leading the response, said officers had visited just over 1,300 homes in the area the previous evening.

"The river is currently at heightened levels and we're predicting a significant flooding event by 8pm this evening," he said in a video on Twitter.

  • More than 1,000 Brits face Christmas Eve evacuation from homes over mass flooding fears

"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."

He asked residents able to leave their homes to do so in a "Covid-safe way" if possible, recommending they go to one single location and stay there until it is safe to return in the coming days.

Across England, a total of 85 flood warnings and 110 flood alerts, as well as the two severe flood warnings, remained in force at 4pm on Christmas Day as huge amounts of water flowed through river catchments.

Northamptonshire Police urged people to stay away from the Billing Aquadrome holiday park, after hundreds were evacuated on Christmas Eve due to high water levels on the River Nene.

The force said water levels had reached 5ft in some places, with emergency services using boats to take residents in the worst-hit areas to safety.

Most of those evacuated were able to find overnight accommodation with friends and family, with a special exemption from Covid-19 restrictions, while about 100 people were transferred to a hotel.

Detective Superintendent Jamie Piscopo said: "Emergency services are working hard to ensure residents can return to the site as soon as possible, however it is not currently safe to do so.

"We'd urge them to stay away until such time it is safe to do."

Source: Read Full Article