Storm Christoph’s imminent arrival has triggered a major incident in South Yorkshire – ahead of strong winds, widespread flooding and snowfall.
An amber weather warning has been put in place by the Met Office until Thursday for central northern England which will affect the area across to Manchester, up to Leeds and Sheffield and as far south as Peterborough.
South Yorkshire is now preparing for potential flooding, according to Ros Jones, mayor of Doncaster.
She said in a tweet that emergency protocols had been put in place on Sunday, including handing out sandbags in at-risk areas.
Ms Jones added that the plans would be implemented alongside the area’s COVID-19 response, saying: “I do not want people to panic, but flooding is possible so please be prepared.”
Describing the situation as “volatile”, the Environment Agency has told councils to prepare for possible severe flooding, amid the prospect of torrential rain mixed with heavy snow.
Catherine Wright, acting executive director for flood and coastal risk management at the Environment Agency, said: “That rain is falling on very wet ground and so we are very concerned that it’s a very volatile situation and we are expecting significant flooding to occur on the back of that weather.”
She added that the Environment Agency would work with local authorities to aid in evacuation efforts in the event a severe flood warning is issued, adding: “If you do need to evacuate then that is allowed within the Covid rules”.
Overnight on Tuesday, heavy rain is expected to pound England, with the Met Office warning that some buildings could be flooded – causing damage.
A “danger to life” warning has been issued as a result of fast-flowing or deep floodwaters, while there is a “good chance” that some areas may be cut off.
In places such as the northern Peak District, around 70mm of rain is expected to fall, with 200mm possible in parts of the southern Pennines.
Most of Wales and northern England has a yellow rain alert in place into Wednesday, while a yellow weather warning for snow and ice is in force in Scotland between Elgin and Dundee and along the east coast from Wednesday afternoon until midday on Thursday.
As of Monday night, 10 flood warnings had been issued by the Environment Agency covering parts of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, with another 109 flood alerts across northern England, the east and the Midlands.
On the roads, Highways England has advised drivers to take care, while the RAC said motorists should only drive if they absolutely need to.
The Sky News weather team said Storm Christoph would bring “non-stop rain” for some parts of the UK over the next couple of days, with Northern Ireland, northern England and Wales most at risk.
“There is a higher amber warning in force for parts of northwest England, the East Midlands and parts of eastern England where over 100mm of rain is expected across the higher ground and up to 200mm of rain in exposed areas. So, over a months’ worth of rainfall is possible for these areas in just a couple of days.
“Conditions will become drier on Thursday as Storm Christoph moves away, but flooding impacts are still to be expected for northern, central and eastern England as it takes a day or so for the rains to travel down to the rivers from the high ground.
“As the storm clears there may be some significant snowfall across inland areas of eastern Scotland too. The rest of the week will become cold again but with wintry spells at times, especially in the north.”
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