Floodwaters swamp parts of England, Europe due to heavy rains

Floodwaters swamp parts of England, Europe due to heavy rains

/ 10:03 AM January 06, 2024

Floodwaters swamp parts of England and Europe due to heavy rains

Rescue workers evacuate a person as the Aa river floods Arques, northern France, Thursday, January 4, 2024. Heavy rains have pummeled the northern Pas-de-Calais and Nord regions since Sunday, forcing the evacuation of about 200 people and knocking out power to 10,000 households, according to local authorities. (AP Photo/Matthieu Mirville)

LONDON — Residents of riverside towns in England that were swamped by rains that washed over Europe this week bailed out Friday as flooding disrupted train service and officials warned that waters could rise in the days ahead.

A powerful storm that brought damaging winds inundated more than 1,000 homes and businesses and left several communities under muddy brown water, officials said. Buildings and cars were submerged as streets turned to streams, farmland was flooded and boats were torn from their moorings.


A landslide and floodwaters disrupted train travel on several lines operating out of London and on routes in southwest England that stretch into Wales.


“It’s been a terrible start to the new year,” Ken Button said as he pumped water out of the furniture shop where he works in the town of Newark-on-Trent. “We’ll have to see what we can salvage.”

Heavy rains also left other parts of Europe underwater as a cold snap gripped northern areas of the continent.

READ: Extreme cold grips Nordic countries, Russia as floods hit western Europe

Water levels remained extremely high in the Netherlands on Friday. Many flood plains in the low-lying nation were inundated and residents in some towns around the Ijsselmeer inland sea near Amsterdam used sandbags to protect their homes.

Dozens of Ukrainian refugees were evacuated overnight from a hotel near the town of Monnickendam north of Amsterdam after it was cut off by floodwaters, local broadcaster NH Nieuws reported.

Several roads in the north and northwest of the Netherlands were closed Friday because of flooding.


In France, a flood warning issued at the highest level was lifted near the Belgian border as waters receded.

But several hundred people had to be evacuated and thousands of homes were damaged in a repeat of floods that hit the same region of France in November.

French authorities warned that waterways would likely remain extremely high in the coming weeks.

READ: Factbox: Europe sees another year of droughts and wildfires

In the United Kingdom, the ground was already saturated from a series of fall tempests when Storm Henk struck with intense rainfall. Even as drier weather arrived, hundreds of flood warnings were in place Friday and the Environment Agency warned that the impact from flooding could last another five days.

“There’s really nowhere for the water to go,” Caroline Douglass, the flood director for the agency, told the BBC. “The ground is completely saturated, so in that situation, we get more flooding and greater impacts than we’ve seen, and probably in areas where people aren’t used to.”

Almost every river in England was listed as exceptionally high by the agency and some set records. The River Itchen in Southampton doubled its previous record for December.

The River Trent through Nottinghamshire county topped its banks, leading the county to declare a major incident, which can help it obtain government assistance. Residents of a trailer park for those over age 55 were evacuated.

READ: Millions of children displaced due to extreme weather events

Firefighters helped about 50 people evacuate their homes in the Hackney Wick section of East London after a canal burst its banks.

Aerial footage showed where narrow rivers had escaped their channel and spread across lower-lying land.

In Gloucestershire, a county in southwest England, residents waded down a street in knee-deep water. A man with a handsaw strapped to his back canoed across a meadow in the town of Henley-on-Thames.

Cars parked in the town of Wallingford were buried up to their windows in water. A long canal boat that broke free of its tether had tipped on its side and was pinned against a bridge on the River Soar in Leicestershire county.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

READ: Global economic losses from extreme weather could hit $5T – Lloyd’s

TAGS: disaster, England, Europe, Flood, Weather

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.