Storm Franklin: ‘Danger to life’ flood warning issued after River Severn breaks banks

A rare “danger to life” flood warning has been issued along the River Severn as Storm Franklin batters the UK.

The alert covers Ironbridge, a town in Shropshire, where the Environment Agency said river levels are rising due to “persistent heavy rainfall”.

It was the only severe flood warning – which warns of danger to life – in place in England when it was issued on Monday afternoon.

Images showed houses flooded in the town shortly afterwards.

More than 140 other places in England were told to expect flooding on Monday as the UK faced its third storm in a matter of days.

The Environment Agency said it issued the highest flood warning for Ironbridge due to “extremely high river levels on the River Severn that are threatening to overtop flood barriers”.

Residents living along the Wharfage – a road that runs next to the river in the town – are at “very high risk” as water is expected to flood the area later on Monday. They have been strongly urged to evacuate their properties.

The Environment Agency said it expected river levels in Ironbridge to remain high for several days and it would reassess the severe flood warning on Tuesday morning or if the situation changes.

Storm Franklin lashed the UK with gale-force winds and torrential rain on Monday, following Storm Eunice and Storm Dudley just days before.

Hundreds of homes were evacuated near swelling river banks across the North of England, while a South Yorkshire rail station was submerged underwater.

Last year, England’s Environment Agency warned the climate crisis – which leads to heavier rainfall and rising sea levels – was worsening the risk of floods across the UK.

Government advisors said last month even a small shift in the average climate can lead to “major changes in extreme events”, including increasing the frequency of severe flooding.

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