The Environment Agency is warning people in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to remain vigilant ahead of more rain expected later this week in parts of the country that have already been flooded.
In an update on its flooding response issued yesterday, the agency said more heavy rain is expected on Thursday and Friday.
Although river levels have fallen over the past few days, any prolonged rain could mean more flooding in areas where the ground is already saturated, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs-sponsored public body said.
Some 300 EA staff are working 24/7 around the country deploying 39 pumps across five locations, with the agency having already reported that over 200 staff are on the ground in South Yorkshire.
In the county’s town of Fishlake, five ultra-high volume pumps are fully operational and pumping out 16 cubic metres of water per second. EA teams have now deployed more than 2,200 sandbags in affected areas.
This morning, there are 45 EA flood warnings, which indicate that flooding is expected and residents and businesses need to take immediate action, and a further 112 flood alerts, meaning flooding is possible and people should be prepared. Yesterday the agency had issues 34 warnings and 73 alerts, but despite the increases, no severe flood warnings have been issued since the downgrading of five severe warnings yesterday.
Kate Marks, the EA’s flood duty manager, said that “heavy rain expected on Thursday, Friday and over the weekend which could lead to further flooding for communities in South Yorkshire around the Lower River Don”.
She added: “Parts of Lincolnshire and the Midlands could also be affected by rain falling on already saturated ground over Thursday and Friday, as well as other parts of England as rain crosses the country from west to east.
“It’s really important that impacted communities remain vigilant and take steps to prepare for flooding by checking their flood risk regularly and making plans to stay safe.
“The Environment Agency has teams working around the clock on the ground erecting temporary barriers and delivering sandbags to areas expecting further rainfall. Our incident rooms remain open 24 hours a day and we are continuing to work closely with local authorities and partners.”
Boris Johnson yesterday visited one of the flooded towns, Stainforth, to see the emergency response. But he faced criticism from some onlookers who were heard to shout "you took your time" at the prime minister.
Speaking to the media, Johnson said he understood the strength of feeling, since "you cannot underestimate the anguish that a flood causes".