Storm Dennis is set to bring further very wet and windy weather to Shropshire this weekend.
Named by the Met Office, Storm Dennis will bring heavy rain and widespread strong winds on Saturday and Sunday, though the impacts are not expected to be as extreme as Storm Ciara last weekend.
A yellow warning for wind is in place from 10am on Saturday to 23:59 on Sunday. A yellow warning for rain is operational from noon Saturday to 21:00 Sunday.
Wind gusts will widely exceed 50mph with gusts of over 60mph possible over hills. While these winds have the potential to bring impacts they are not as strong as the gusts we saw last weekend with Storm Ciara.
Heavy rain is also expected and with already saturated ground, there is a risk of further flooding.
Paul Gundersen, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office said: “Another spell of very wet and windy weather is expected for Saturday. Although Storm Dennis is currently not expected to be as severe as Ciara, disruption is still likely. Our confidence in the forecast means we have been able to issue severe weather warnings well in advance, giving people time to prepare for potential impacts of the storm.
“With further warnings possible over the next few days people should keep up to date with the Met Office forecast using our website, app or by following us on social media.”
Storm Dennis is expected to bring a range of impacts, including delays and cancellations to transport services and damage to power supplies.
Caroline Douglass, Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said:
“We are advising people to sign up for flood warnings by phone, text or email and to access the latest safety advice on gov.uk by searching ‘sign up for flood warnings’. Remember to never drive or walk through floodwater, just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car – it’s not worth the risk.”
Local council teams on standby
Teams of contractors and council staff are on standby to help keep Shropshire moving in the event of damage from Storm Dennis over the coming weekend.
Both Telford & Wrekin Council and Shropshire Council have teams on standby to deal with issues such as trees felled by strong winds or localised flooding.
In the Telford and Wrekin area, the council and its contractors dealt with 36 reports of trees down last weekend during Storm Ciara and emergency tree teams from contractor idverde will be on standby this weekend in addition to its general rapid response teams.
The council teams also on standby working with the Environment Agency to prepare the Wharfage in Ironbridge should we need to deploy flood barriers
Cllr Richard Overton, cabinet lead for neighbourhoods said: “The teams were very quick to respond to what Storm Ciara threw at us. We hope that Storm Dennis proves less of a challenge and that the public continue to help us by being our eyes for things happening across the borough.”
Drivers urged to take extra care
Highways England is advising drivers to take care and be prepared as Storm Dennis brings very strong winds and heavy rain across large parts of the England this weekend.
Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve. If you do intend to travel, then plan your journey and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.
“In heavy rain, drivers should keep well back from the vehicle in front, gradually ease off the accelerator if the steering becomes unresponsive, and slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles makes it difficult to see and be seen.
“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.
“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”