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RMS comments on U.K. Flooding

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Further flooding has affected the U.K. during the weekend of July 6 and July 7 following further outbreaks of exceptionally heavy rainfall. The U.K. has been subject to the wettest April to June period on record resulting in saturated ground, high water tables, and full reservoirs and therefore providing ideal antecedent conditions for flooding. The rain over the weekend was associated with a low pressure system that has been causing heavy rainfall since July 5.

This led to more flooding, with the worst affected areas being in the South West of England, especially in Devon, as well as parts of the North East and the Midlands. A total of three severe flood warnings were issued for Devon by the Environment Agency (EA) on Saturday, with some parts of East Devon and West Dorset receiving between 75-120mm of rainfall in a 24 hour period – more than the monthly July average.

The rainfall and flooding resulted in the cancellation of many events across the south-west, such as the Dunsford show in Dartmoor and the Liskeard agricultural show. On Saturday, motor-racing fans were warned not to drive to Silverstone in Northamptonshire due to many car parks rendered useless by the flooding, resulting in long traffic queues near the circuit. York and parts of North and East Yorkshire were also impacted by heavy rainfall and minor flooding, with some events for the York 800 festival being cancelled and properties in Snaiton and Cloughton in East Yorkshire being damaged.

The EA has issued a further nine flood warnings for the South West of England as of Monday, with the rivers Stour and Frome being most at risk of flooding. A flood warning is also in place for parts of York and Selby for today and tomorrow due to the River Ouse potentially bursting its banks. A total of 66 flood alerts have also been issued across the U.K..

“Unsettled and showery weather is expected to continue to affect the U.K. over the next few days. A broad area of low pressure is situated over northwest Europe which will bring thunderstorms to the east of the country and persistent rain in the north,” said Neena Saith, director of catastrophe response at RMS. “Long-term weather forecasts also indicate that the unsettled weather may continue into August with below average sunshine amounts expected and higher likelihood of wet conditions, particularly in the south. If this holds true, then the risk of flooding may remain high over the next month or so, however it should be noted that long term weather forecasts are extremely uncertain.”