Epic Floods Hit the United Kingdom

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By Graham Smith on November 28, 2012, 8:40am Last modified: November 28, 2012, 3:51pm

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Many parts of England and Wales have been affected by what can only be described as a series of epic floods, over the later half of November. 

In the 8 days between the 19th and 27th of November, some areas received over 150% of their whole-November average, causing rivers to burst their banks and inflicting widespread property damage.

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At one point, literally hundreds of Flood Warnings were active across the UK, and 2 Severe Flood warnings (only issued for the most extreme flood risks, where there is a real threat to life) were issued by the UK's Environment Agency.

The first area to be affected was the far south-west of England, in the counties of Cornwall and Devon. However as the weather fronts moved north, heavy rain and flooding affected many parts of Wales and Yorkshire too.

The unusually wet spell of weather started when a very slow moving squall line all but stalled over the south of the country over a 8-12 hour period. This took place just prior to a series of weather fronts that moved in from the South West and brought more heavy rain, which then fell onto already-saturated ground. With the ground unable to absorb surface water, the runoff headed to stressed waterways, which quickly became inundated. Water spilled into neighbouring properties, flooding buildings and turning streets into rivers and railway bridges into waterfalls.

Tragically, the flood resulted in two fatalities. A women was killed by a falling tree, uprooted by floodwaters in Exeter and a man was killed when his car ploughed into a swollen river, in Cambridgeshire.

This has certainly been a memorable period of weather for many folk and not the first severe flooding the UK has experienced this year. Earlier in the year, flooding shut down the North-South railway links between Scotland and England and caused extensive property damage in the North East. 

Thankfully relief is at hand, as the next few days look largely dry across the UK. However with temperatures now plummeting, icy roads and the threat of snow in early December looks like the weather challenge.

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Graham Smith

Town: Fife, Scotland  

Reporting for WXedge since February 2012.

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