Flood warnings for Shropshire as Storm Bella gives way to snow and ice

New flood warnings are in place for Shropshire and Mid Wales with snow and ice set to replace the rain and wind brought by Storm Bella.

The flooded fields at Llanymynech and Pant. Photo: Curly Rogers
The flooded fields at Llanymynech and Pant. Photo: Curly Rogers

Wind speeds reached 77mph at Lake Vyrnwy in Powys on Saturday evening as the second named storm of the 2020/21 season battered Shropshire and Mid Wales.

Several flood warning were issued for the region as a result, with the Met Office also warning of potential travel disruption from snow and ice on Monday.

Trees were felled across the county, regular flooding spots like the road under Albrighton railway bridge were submerged and firefighters even had to step in to stop one of Santa's reindeer flying away during the storm on Boxing Day night.

One tree landed on a property in Twemlows Aveneu in Higher Heath, near Whitchurch, at around 7pm. Nobody was injured and a fire crew from Prees was able to help make the scene safe within half an hour.

Walkers on the Llangollen Canal near Ellesmere found the towpath blocked by a large tree that had fallen between Blakemere and Colemere on Saturday night. It was cleared by the adjacent land owners on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile a fire crew from Shrewsbury received a call for help when one of the large illuminated reindeer at the entrance to the Darwin Shopping Centre on Pride Hill came loose in the wind.

They were on scene soon after 7.30pm and had secured the light display within 10 minutes.

The tree that fell on the canal near Ellesmere. Photo: John Mooney

New weather warnings were issued for large parts of the UK on Sunday afternoon, with the latest snow and ice warning affecting all of Shropshire, Mid Wales and the West Midlands.

The warning in place for Sunday only affected the most northern part of Shropshire along with Wrexham and Chirk, but a new warning for Monday covers the entire region.

The yellow alert, in force from midnight until 6pm on Monday, says "rain may turn to snow, which along with widespread ice, will lead to the potential for some disruption to travel and utilities" and warns of icy patches on untreated roads and pavements.

Flood warnings for border region

Flood barriers were put up along the Severn in Shrewsbury, Ironbridge and Bewdley before Christmas but the most serious flooding on Sunday was from the River Vyrnwy in the border areas and from the Severn in Mid Wales.

People living between Llanymynech and Four Crosses were warned that the Vyrnwy was high and rising with a red flood warning issued - which could mean properties are at risk.

Watching the River Vyrnwy rise at Llanymynech were Julie and Bill Lee, whose bungalow lies on the flood plain.

Mr Lee, who built an embankment and installed floodgates to protect his property, said: "I’ve lived here for 60 plus years now so have lived with the river for a lot of years and am able to 'read' it now.

A homemade floodgate keeps the Vyrnwy out of Julie and Bill Lee's home near Llanymynech

"We built an embankment around our property so that keeps the water away from us. It comes in our fields and garden and then crosses the road by us."

Red flood warnings were also issued for other areas along the Shropshire/Powys border after Storm Bella brought torrential rain to the hills.

At Aberbechan the River Severn was still rising on Sunday morning with warnings that the sewage works at Dolfor would be affected, while further downstream at Abermule and Fron there was flooding on farmland and low-lying lanes.

Another red warningwas in place for the Meifod valley above Llansantffraid, although the village of Meifod appearede to have escaped any problems.

Lesser, flood alerts were in place for both the River Severn and Vyrnwy across Powys taking in Welshpool.

Alerts were also in force for the River Severn from Shrewsbury to Bridgnorth, the Upper Teme near Ludlow and Bishop's Castle, Ledyche Brook and River Rea near Cleobury Mortimer and the River Worfe near Shifnal and Cosford.

And on the North Wales/Shropshire border a flood alert was in place for the Lower Dee, including land near Overton, Erbistock, and Bangor-on-Dee

In total a further 88 flood warnings were issued in England, along with six in Wales and 12 in Scotland.

National picture: Winds top 100mph

Winds reached more than 100mph overnight as Storm Bella brought rain and blowy conditions across the UK.

Two threat to life flood warnings remain in place in Northamptonshire after days of wintry weather across the Christmas break, with a cold snap with icy and wintry conditions still to come.

The top wind speed was recorded at the Needles on the Isle of Wight where it reached 106mph overnight on Saturday.

Aberdaron in north-west Wales experienced gusts of 83mph, and locations on the south coast of England, including Dorset, got close to 80mph.

The gales meant that for the first time ever, more than half of Britain’s electricity was generated by wind power on Saturday.

According to energy firm Drax, 50.67% of the country’s power was produced by wind turbines.

Fire crews in north Yorkshire had to rescue a number of people from vehicles stranded in floodwater overnight.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said they used a boat to rescue two men and two dogs from a vehicle stuck in flowing floodwater in Hawes at 12.37am on Sunday.

Storm Bella caused a windy night across the UK and Ireland

In Aysgarth, a man and a woman were also rescued by boat from the roof of their car at 2.40am after they drove into deep floodwater.

And firefighters walked a woman to safety through shallow water in Wensley at 3.35am after a minor collision while driving through floods.

The disruption continued into Sunday morning when flooding on the tracks caused cancellations and delays.

All trains between Bournemouth and Southampton Central were stopped due to water on the line, Great Western Railway said, and one of the major lines into London was also blocked when a tree fell on to the tracks in Haslemere, Surrey.

Two severe flood warnings indicating a potential threat to life are still in place at Cogenhoe Mill caravan site near Northampton and on the River Nene near Billing Aquadrome on Sunday morning.

On Sunday, yellow weather warnings for ice and snow remained in place across Scotland, northern England, Northern Ireland and parts of North Wales.

Snow and sleet is a possibility in Scotland from Sunday morning, and will move south throughout the day, bringing the risk of ice and bad driving conditions.

Through the evening and into Monday, meteorologists are warning the snow and ice could also pose a risk to more central and southern areas of England.

Further into the week and towards the New Year conditions will remain cold with sunshine and the possibility of wintry showers, the Met Office said.

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