PEOPLE are being urged to prepare for possible significant inland flooding across Devon from Wednesday to Friday due to Storm Ciaran, with some significant coastal impacts also possible but not expected on Thursday.
Wind remains the biggest threat from the storm, but there are various areas at risk of flooding as a result of heavy rain causing surface water or river flooding.
Heavy rain is expected to start from 18.00 this evening in the South West and will spread further overnight to the Midlands and parts of the North West and North East and into Thursday. All area teams are preparing for potential coastal and fluvial impacts and widespread flood alerts and warnings are expected to be issued.
The locations and times of particular concern are overnight on Wednesday through to Thursday for fluvial impacts and the Thursday morning tide on the South Coast – particularly between Dorset and East Sussex. The mobile barriers at Exeter, which are part of the flood defence scheme, are being deployed and demountable and temporary barriers are already in place or ready to be installed along the River Severn.
Ben Lukey, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: 'Large waves and onshore gales brought by Storm Ciarán could see significant flooding along parts of the south coast tomorrow, while minor impacts are possible along the coast from Dorset to Sussex this evening and along parts of the Yorkshire and North East coasts on Thursday.
'Rain from the storm could also see significant surface water and river flooding across parts of the West, South and North East of England from later today until Friday, with minor impacts possible more widely on Saturday due to further showers.
'Environment Agency teams are out on the ground clearing any blocking debris from screens and watercourses, operating flood defence assets where required, working with partners and present in those communities that have experienced flooding, looking to minimise the impact on residents.
'We urge people to stay safe on the coast and to remember to take extreme care on coastal paths and promenades. Flooding of low-lying coastal roads is also possible and people must avoid driving through flood water, as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.
'People should check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at https://www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding and follow @EnvAgency on X, formerly known as Twitter, for the latest flood updates.'
From 7am on Friday 3 November, some Environment Agency staff are planning four days of industrial action. We are actively working to mitigate the risks for communities.
While Storm Ciaran will have passed by this point, risks remain as water levels may be higher than normal as they flow through river catchments.
We will be operating our automated flood warning systems and we encourage people to continue to take heed of all flood alerts and flood warnings, and to call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 if they have any concerns
Visit Check for flooding - GOV.UK for current flood alerts and warnings and to check river, sea, groundwater and rainfall levels in your area and what to do in the event of a flood.
The Environment Agency’s response to the flooding caused by Storm Babet saw an estimated 97,000 properties protected. Twenty high volume pumps and five small volume pumps were deployed across several sites. During the storm, the Environment Agency’s flood warning service sent out more than 300,000 messages by email, telephone and text.
Tragically, a number of deaths have been widely reported and, sadly, the total number of properties reported to have been flooded during Storm Babet currently stands at approximately 2,150. We will work to understand if more could be done to better protect these properties in future.
The Environment Agency worked round the clock with its partners to help reduce the risk. Teams operated flood defences, flood storage reservoirs and put up temporary barriers where needed to help protect communities.
The Government has also announced that support will be available to areas in England that have experienced exceptional localised flooding through the activation of the Flood Recovery Framework scheme.
The public should sign up to flood warnings and check the latest safety advice as tidal flooding is possible and heavy downpours are likely to fall on saturated ground.