Storm Dennis, the second-strongest nontropical storm on record in the North Atlantic Ocean, caused widespread flooding across parts of the United Kingdom this week, along with winds exceeding hurricane force.
The storm, which is producing waves up to 80 feet tall west of the United Kingdom, dumped more than five inches of rain in South Wales, almost an inch more than the area typically receives for the entire month of February. The resulting flooding has prompted numerous evacuations and even cut off some communities.
Photo by Neil Munnis/EPA-EFE
The U.K. Met Office, which named the storm, issued its first “red” warning for heavy rainfall since 2015, its highest warning category. The country’s Environment Agency issued a record number of flood warnings, 594, for a single day, according to John Curtin, executive director of flood and coastal risk management at the Environment Agency.
While the rainfall totals were noteworthy, they were not unprecedented. However, coming just one week after another severe bomb cyclone, known in the United Kingdom as Storm Ciara, the ground was already saturated when this one arrived. This caused many rivers, creeks and streams to overflow their banks and even triggered landslides.
Several severe flood warnings were issued, meaning the conditions posed life-threatening danger. Gwent County police said residents of Skenfrith, Monmouthshire, were advised to evacuate because of the flooding.