UK issues severe flood warnings; storm injures 9 in Germany
LONDON (AP) — Britain issued five severe flood alerts on Monday, warning of a danger to life after Storm Dennis dumped weeks worth of rain in some places. It gale-force winds also injured nine people in weather-related car accidents in Germany and caused flooding and power outages elsewhere in northern Europe.
The severe flood warnings were for the central English counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire. The Met Office, Britain's meteorological agency, issued another 221 flood warnings for England, along with 24 for Wales and 12 for Scotland.
The weather system brought winds of more than 145 kph (90 mph) and up to 150 millimeters (6 inches) of rain over the weekend.
Forecasters said river levels in parts of northern England had yet to reach their peak. In the northern England city of York, authorities were piling up more than 4,000 sandbags as the Rover Ouse continued to rise. It’s expected to peak on Tuesday.
Other residents in parts of Wales and western England were cleaning up Monday after the storm flooded roads, railways, homes and businesses and disrupted travel across Britain.
The British environment secretary said climate change was making extreme weather events more common, but denied that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative government was unprepared.
"We'll never be able to protect every single household just because of the nature of climate change and the fact that these weather events are becoming more extreme, but we've done everything that we can do with a significant sum of money, and there's more to come," Minister George Eustice said.
In Germany, at least nine people were injured in weather-related car accidents.
In Trippstadt near the French border, the driver of a van and his six passengers were injured, some of them severely, when their vehicle ran into a fallen tree on the road Monday morning. In Rostock in northeastern Germany, two people were injured when their car crashed Sunday into a broken tree on a road, the German news agency dpa reported.
A commuter train with 67 passengers on board also crashed into a tree that had fallen on the tracks in the western German city of Dortmund, but nobody was injured. And in the German city of Hamburg, the city’s famous fish market was flooded for the second time this month.
Further north, strong winds and heavy rain caused flooding, road closures and electricity outages across the Nordic and Baltic regions.
In Norway, more than half a dozen roads and several passes were closed. The southwestern Denmark city of Kolding was flooded as gale force winds and heavy rains battered the area.
Emergency services in the city on the eastern side of the Jutland peninsula were pumping out water from basements and using sand bags to try to contain the flooding.
In Estonia, some 1,200 households were without electricity, the Baltic News Service reported.
Several ferry crossings between Denmark and Norway were halted because of the storm.
Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen and Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report,