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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Heavy rain causes floods and travel chaos across UK

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Heavy rain and strong winds across the UK have led to flooding and travel disruption, as warnings continue with more bad weather forecast.

As of Thursday afternoon there were more than 60 flood warnings in England, 19 in Wales and two in Scotland, alongside almost 200 flood alerts.

The National Grid said about 600 homes, mainly around the Welsh city of Newport, were without power.

The bad weather is expected to continue into Friday and the weekend.

As it stands, a yellow wind warning for wind is in place until 03:00 GMT on Friday for Northern Ireland, north Wales, and north-west England, with warnings of gusts of up to 70mph.

The Met Office warns it could mean travel disruption and potential short-term loss of power.

On Thursday, flooding blocked two train lines in the west of England, between Bristol Parkway and Swindon, and between Bristol Temple Meads, Bath and Swindon.

In the town of Keynsham in Somerset, some drivers had to be rescued from their cars due to the flooding.

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In South Wales, the fire service said the areas worst affected by flooding were Porth and Pontypridd in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Transport for Wales said four railway lines were blocked due to heavy rain flooding the tracks.

These include Cardiff Central to Bridgend, Pontypridd to Treherbert, Newtown to Shrewsbury and Abercynon to Aberdare.

The River Taff burst its banks, flooding a number of parks and walking routes along the Taff trail, including Cardiff’s Bute Park near the city centre.

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Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said the heaviest of the rain had moved towards the north of the UK, and would move to Scotland later on Thursday.

“However, showers remain possible for large parts of the UK in what will remain a largely unsettled day,” he said.

He said a further hazard coming into the weekend was that rain would be falling on already saturated ground.

A drop in the temperature would also bring the risk of sleet and snow in some areas, he added.

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