The Met Office has put out a bleak weather forecast for this weekend with heavy rain and strong winds expected to batter large parts of the UK.
Several yellow warnings are in place for heavy rain with up to 100mm expected in some places with a severe risk of flooding – especially as the torrential rain is already falling on saturated ground.
Many areas are preparing with FloodSax sandless sandbags (www.floodSax.co.uk) which have become a flexible alternative to heavy, cumbersome traditional sandbags.
The bad weather is coming from two low pressure in the Atlantic and Met Office Chief Meteorologist Frank Saunders said: “We’ll see this typical autumnal weather continuing over the weekend with heavy rain and strong winds expected to bring disruption and risk of flooding to some areas.
“Several yellow rain warnings are in place until Sunday covering parts of northwest England, Wales and western parts of Scotland. Across the warning areas rainfall totals of 30-40mm can be expected quite widely by the end of Friday while over the hills and mountains of north Wales and Cumbria, where rain will be heaviest, more than 100mm is possible.”
Over the weekend two separate Atlantic low-pressure systems will track to the north-west of the UK bringing further heavy and persistent rain as well as strengthening south-westerly winds.
Deputy Chief Meteorologist Martin Young said: “Saturday will be very wet and windy for many northern and western parts of the country as low-pressure sweeps north eastwards past northwest Britain. Another system quickly follows on Sunday that contains the remnants of ex-Hurricane Zeta, bringing further heavy rain and strong winds.
“Given that this is falling on already saturated ground from what has been a wet October there is an increased risk of flooding in some warnings areas.
Martin continued: “We will continue to monitor the situation over the weekend and may update the rain warnings and possibly add wind warnings as details in the timing and potential impacts become clearer. Therefore, we’re urging people to keep a close eye on the forecast, flood alerts and warnings in their areas.”
Gary White, Duty Tactical Manager for Natural Resources Wales, said: “The predicted heavy rain is likely to cause flooding up and down the country over the next few days and into the weekend so we’re advising people to keep up to date with flood warnings and alerts issued in their areas.
“Our emergency response workers will be at key sites checking defences are in good working order and making sure any drainage grids and screens are clear to reduce the risk to people and their homes.’’
Councils in the UK have no responsibility to provide sandbags and people are responsible for protecting their own homes and businesses from flooding. Some councils recommend FloodSax alternative sandbag flood barriers for flood protection which are a flexible alternative to traditional sandbags that are space-saving to store and quick and easy to deploy.
When FloodSax come into contact with water they absorb 20 litres which transforms them from being as light as a pillowcase to being more effective than traditional sandbags in just three minutes. Around 2.5 million have now been sold worldwide.