The extreme weather of the last week shows no signs of abating with warnings for high winds and snow to come.
Two yellow weather warnings have been issued – the first is a wind warning covering north-east England, Cumbria, North Yorkshire, and parts of Scotland from 6am to 3pm on Wednesday.
The second is for wind and snow and covers much of Scotland and Northern Ireland from 1pm on Wednesday until 3pm on Thursday, with up to 10cm of snow likely and gusts of up to 70mph in coastal areas.
It comes as many parts of the country are recovering from three storms in the past week – Dudley, Eunice, and Franklin – which left 1.4 million homes without power, and saw some rivers burst their banks.
Around 400 properties were flooded but Environment Secretary George Eustice said flood defences had protected a further 40,000 homes.
Speaking at a National Farmers’ Union conference, he said: “We know there are around 40,000 homes that have been protected by the flood defences put in place and on the Severn in particular we have these rather innovative demountable barriers that enable you to use the river normally most of the year.
“And then when the flood risk arises, we put up temporary barriers alongside the river, and those have been remarkably successful at reducing the flood risk particularly along the Severn, and have been again this time.”
The Environment Agency said that parts of the West Midlands and Yorkshire – especially those living along the rivers Severn and Ouse – should be prepared for significant flooding due to the high rainfall brought by Storm Franklin.
Two severe flood warnings – meaning there is a danger to life – have been issued for the River Severn at the Wharfage in Ironbridge, and in Wribbenhall, Bewdley.
As of 11.30pm on Tuesday, there were also 67 flood warnings – meaning flooding is expected – and 72 flood alerts, meaning flooding is possible.
Katharine Smith, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “We have teams out on the ground taking preventative action, closing flood gates, deploying temporary barriers and moving pumps and other response equipment to areas of highest risk.
“Environment Agency defences have protected more than 40,000 properties despite record river levels.
“We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water, as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.”