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Storm Dennis: Weather warnings as wind and rain disrupts region again

By Sue Austin | Ludlow | Environment | Published:

Events across Shropshire and the Welsh border were cancelled and transport was disrupted as Storm Dennis arrived in Shropshire today

A fallen tree on Whittington Road in Gobowen. Photo: Ben Leonard

Emergency services warned motorists to take care as weather forecasters said the rain could be worse that that that fell during Storm Ciara's track across the UK last weekend.

Whittington Road in Gobowen, near Oswestry, was closed at around 3pm after a large tree came down near the Derwen College. Police said the route was expected to be shut for several hours.

Across the Welsh border the B4391 between Penygarnedd and Penybontfawr near Llanfyllin was closed when a tree came down on Saturday evening.

Persistent rain was forecast to fall across Shropshire and Mid Wales all day on Saturday and until mid morning on Sunday, with gales also expected across the region.

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Whittington Road in Gobowen was closed after a tree came down. Photo: @OsCops

More than 230 easyJet flights in and out of the UK were cancelled on Saturday, with wind speeds forecast to reach 70mph along coastlines and up to 4.7in (120mm) of rain expected to fall in some areas.

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Meanwhile two bodies were pulled from rough seas on Saturday before the worst of the storm hit.

One man was found following a huge search operation off Margate after an early-morning distress call, while another was found at Herne Bay.

Cancelled events

Ludlow's Saturday market was one of the casualties of the rain and high winds forecast for the weekend.

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A statement from Ludlow Town Council said: "The safety of traders and public on the market square, and of traders transporting stock to and from the market must become the primary concern when such a powerful storm is forecast. Thank you in advance for your understanding. Market trading will continue as normal on Monday."

The council also closed the Linney car park until Monday, saying that with the level of the River Teme high there is a significant risk of flooding.

Meanwhile Chirk Castle staff warned people not to walk on the estate, which was closed because of the forecast of high winds.

"There are a number of veteran trees on the estate along the driveways and visitor routes which pose a real danger of falling branches in high winds" a post on its social media pages said.

"For your own safety please obey the estate closed signs and don't walk on the estate."

Chirk Castle is closed because of Storm Dennis

Several sporting events were also been cancelled.

Organisers of the Oswestry and the Erddig park runs cancelled Saturday's events. Mary Thornton, one of organisers said the decision had been made because conditions were too dangerous underfoot.

And many Shropshire runners were left disappointed as the popular Village Bakery Half Marathon in Wrexham fell victim to Storm Dennis.

Organisers said: "With Met Office weather warnings in place we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the race.

Storm Dennis weather warnings
(PA Graphics)

"After all the hard work to recover from Storm Ciara including implementing a different course we are devastated but we cannot risk the welfare of our runners, staff and marshals".

In Shrewsbury car parks were open as normal on Saturday morning but the council had teams on standby to close them if necessary and drivers were warned not to leave their cars overnight.

Weather warnings

The Met Office has issued eight weather warnings covering most of the UK this weekend.

This includes an amber warning - in place from midday on Saturday until 9pm on Sunday - covering parts of Mid Wales such as Newtown where the most rain is expected to fall and flooding could cause a danger to life.

A less severe yellow warning for rain is in place for the rest of Wales and all of Shropshire, while a yellow wind warning covers all of England and Wales until midday on Sunday.

Power cuts are also expected and there is a good chance that train and buses will see cancellations or delays and roads closed.

The Environment Agency said flooding is likely to be worse than under last weekend’s Storm Ciara due to rain falling on already saturated ground.

As of 10am on Saturday, 14 flood alerts were in place in Shropshire including for the Severn from Shrewsbury down to Bridgnorth and the Upper and Lower Teme near Ludlow

A more severe flood warning was also in place for the Lower Dee Valley from Llangollen to Trevalyn Meadows on the North Wales border.

Flood barriers have gone up in Frankwell in Shrewsbury and are on standby on other stretches of the river.

However the Met Office said the “main areas of concern” on Saturday are north and south-west England and Wales, with the South East bearing the brunt more on Sunday.

Troops are being deployed to help with preparations in the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire.

Network Rail has advised passengers to expect disruption on many routes due to flooding and to allow more time for their journeys.

Meanwhile, people living near the railway are being urged to secure any loose items in their gardens, after several trampolines were blown on to tracks and overhead electric wires last weekend, blocking lines.

The storm is also likely to cause treacherous driving conditions, with drivers urged not to attempt entering deep floodwater.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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