Storm Christoph smashes UK: Army on standby as 36-hour blast brings heavy rain and snow

Storm Christoph: UK set for heavy showers and snow

Storm Christoph continues to rampage across the UK with more than 120mm of rain falling in parts of the country – causing severe flooding. Areas of Cambridgeshire, Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire have been hit hardest by the flooding with more heavy rain forecast. The Met Office has put in place eight weather warnings for heavy rain, snow, ice and strong winds.

Across large parts of the midlands and the north, an amber rain warning has been enforced, with a “danger to life” threat.

The Environment Agency has enforced fifty flood warnings across England, with 175 less severe flood alerts.

Dramatic pictures have emerged today of cars being submerged into deep water in County Durham.

In Leicestershire, drivers have been snapped struggling with the elements, with surface water covering road markings.

In York, pictures show an entire street and properties have been flooded after the River Ouse burst its banks.

Meanwhile, on the M62 motorway near Yorkshire, a lorry tipped onto its side in the swirling winds of Storm Christoph.

Across residential areas, including the north and the midlands, roads have been barricaded with sand bags and flood defence barriers to prevent further destruction.

Major incidents have also been declared in South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester in the past 24-48 hours.

The police said residents should leave flooded homes if instructed, despite the stay-at-home messaging due to the pandemic.

Army soldiers have been placed on standby to respond to flood alerts and evacuations plans.

Prime Minster Boris Johnson has confirmed he will chair an emergency COBRA meeting later today.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, he said: “Our sympathies also go out to those affected by the latest floods.

“I want to thank the Environment Agency and our emergency services for the work they’re doing to support those communities, and I’ll be chairing a Cobra meeting later on to co-ordinate the national response.”

The Met Office said 123.4mm of rainfall has been recorded at Honister Pass in Cumbria in the 24 hours, as of 6am.

Nearby Seathwaite saw the second highest total, with 107.2mm, and some isolated spots could see up to 200mm.

Met Office forecaster Grahame Madge warned wintery showers and ice forecast in the north will make the flooding worse.

He said: “While rain remains the main hazard in the south, further north we’ve got snow and ice remaining a risk.

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“The system will work its way through, we are expecting significant totals of rainfall and when you combine that with snowmelt it can lead to localised flooding across the affected regions.”

As the week progresses, Storm Christoph will move in a north easterly direction and heavy rain will be replaced by more widespread wintery showers and falling temperatures.

Mr Madge added: “When Christoph starts to move into the North Sea we will start to see more northerly influence coming in, we’re going to have a feed of colder air which will bring in wintry showers.

“Over higher ground to begin with but increasingly those events will be to lower levels as well and that could lead to some accumulations in Scotland, northern England and parts of Northern Ireland.”

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