Flood-hit communities swamped by a month’s worth of rain from Storm Christoph were warned to brace for fresh misery last night as a big freeze is set to grip the country today.
Forecasters said -7C blizzard conditions would hit many areas as a blast of Arctic air swept towards Britain after last week’s storm that continued to cause chaos yesterday.
Temporary barriers along the River Severn in Worcestershire were breached, with residents describing the surging floodwaters as a ‘tidal wave’.
Defences at the riverside town of Bewdley failed, leaving homes and businesses under water and residents devastated.
Flood-hit communities swamped by a month’s worth of rain from Storm Christoph were warned to brace for fresh misery last night as a big freeze is set to grip the country today. Pictured: A man stands and looks out over the River Ouse in York as it floods following rain and recent melting snow
Forecasters said -7C blizzard conditions would hit many areas as a blast of Arctic air swept towards Britain after last week’s storm that continued to cause chaos yesterday. Pictured: A man clears snow from around van which had become stuck in a snow drift in Lamancha, Scotland
The Quay area of Carmathen on Saturday which got flooded due to the River Towy bursting its banks after all the rainfall from Storm Christoph
Environment Agency workers flood a storm basin ahead of a visit of Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson near the River Mersey in Didsbury, Manchester, on Saturday
A family enjoy an early morning walk on the snow covered grounds of Little Orme, in north Wales, on Saturday morning
A runner is pictured in the snow in Smithills, Bolton, Lancashire, on Saturday morning
Snow falls in Smithills, Bolton, Lancashire, this morning. Come the new week the snow will once again give way to more rain, with Environment Secretary George Eustice saying it gives cause for concern at the potential for further flooding
Irene Buxton, 70, who lives near the defences, said she was woken by a ‘crash’ as the barriers collapsed on Friday night.
‘I looked out of the window and it was like a tidal wave going towards the town,’ she said.
‘The water is in my hall and in my kitchen and we’re just battling to keep it out of the living room.’
Hereford and Worcester rescue teams were out in force, rescuing a man and his two dogs from Bewdley’s floodwaters, which were expected to peak at 5.53m, just shy of the November 2000 record of 5.56m.
Storm Christoph – which battered the country with a month’s worth of rain in less than 48 hours – will be replaced by snow and ice as the Met Office issues a yellow warning for Scotland (pictured)
Further warnings were issued along a stretch of the Severn, including Ironbridge in Shropshire and Stourport-on-Severn in Worcestershire, which saw severe flooding during Storm Dennis last year.
Environment Secretary George Eustice warned of more ‘challenges’ in parts of England as a blanket of snow was predicted.
Forecasters said the snow and ice will cause widespread travel disruption, with driving treacherous across the country. Temperatures were expected to plummet to -7C in parts of northern England and -10C in Scotland.
The Met Office said a band of rain will cross the South West of England and turn to snow as it moves eastwards. Up to 2in of snow could settle, but areas above 300ft could see as much as 10in.
Temperatures across the whole of the UK dropped below freezing last night, with the coldest temperatures in the Scottish Highlands at an icy -10C.
Elsewhere, London and Manchester got down to -3C overnight and Bristol, Belfast and Glasgow dropped to -2C.
Frosts are expected overnight on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Martin Bowles, meteorologist at the Met Office, said: ‘The biggest hazard over the next couple of days is going to be ice because we’re getting these snow showers which will all freeze overnight.
Cyclists in the snow pass through the ‘Seven Arched Bridge’ in the Rivington Terraced Gardens on Saturday morning
A lone walker takes a stroll in the snow in Muston, Leicestershire, on Saturday morning. A -10C big freeze is set to grip the country as Britons brace for a six-inch blanket of snow – as parts of the country have already been hit with buckets of the white stuff on Saturday morning
Footage captured the dramatic moment that flood defences failed at Bewdley, Worcestershire, during the early hours of Saturday morning. The clip was captured on camera by a local resident
Hereford and Worcester water rescue teams save a man and his two dogs, Poppy and Eddie, from the flood water at Bewdley as the Severn breached floor barriers on Saturday morning. Another dog, Malcom, peered over a flood barrier at his home on Beales Corner with the water lapping below
‘Obviously roads tend to be quite well gritted, especially main roads, but I would warn people to be careful on pavements, minor roads that don’t get gritted or city roads.’
The Met Office’s first warning for snow and ice is already in place in north-west England, but four more will be in place by tomorrow morning.
Areas being placed under warnings are Northern Ireland, south-west England and South Wales, the Midlands, and south-east England.
Mr Bowles said the cold spell would continue until about Wednesday before being replaced with milder temperatures in the final days of the month.
Residents in the small North Warwickshire village of New Arley woke up to a cold and snowy day on Saturday morning as the rain turned into snow overnight
The M6 in Lancaster was down to one lane due to snow. Weather warnings for floods, snow and ice have been put in place across Britain due to the conditions
People pictured riding on bicycles through Wimbledon Common, which was covered in heavy frost on Saturday on a cold freezing morning with sub-zero temperatures
‘That’s not to say that that’s the end of all cold weather for winter, it isn’t, we’ve just got a mild spell coming up,’ he said.
Despite people being urged to heed flood warnings into the weekend, Mr Bowles said they were ‘gradually reducing’ and that more heavy rain was not expected until Wednesday night or Thursday.
‘We’re hopeful that the river levels will fall quite significantly before that so we’re not expecting any significant flooding problems over the next few days, apart from in areas where the warnings are already in place,’ he said.
The Environment Agency previously warned of ‘exceptionally high river levels’ following days of heavy rainfall in the wake of Storm Christoph, with hundreds of properties across the country flooded.