Soldiers from The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland assist with flood defences as the UK prepares for widespread weather disruption as Storm Dennis approaches, in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, England, Saturday, Feb.15, 2020. Enormous waves churned across the North Atlantic on Saturday as Britain braces for a second straight weekend of wild winter weather and flooding that's already seen the army deployed to help out residents in northern England. (Danny Lawson/PA via AP)

UK hit by hurricane-force winds, 'life-threatening' floods

February 16, 2020 - 3:46 am

Storm Dennis roared across Britain on Sunday, lashing towns and cities with high winds and dumping so much rain that authorities urged residents to protect themselves from “life-threatening floods" in Wales and Scotland.

The Met Office, Britain's national weather service, issued over 250 flood warnings for England, Scotland and Wales.

As the winds churned up enormous waves in the North Atlantic and the North Sea, the bodies of two men were pulled from the water Saturday in two separate searches off England's eastern coast.

Severe flood warnings were issued for the River Neath in south Wales and local media reported the River Taff had burst its banks in the Welsh town of Pontypool.

In one 24-hour period, Tredegar in southeast Wales was hit by 105 mm (4.1 inches) of rain, while coastal Welsh village of Aberdaron was blasted by hurricane-force winds up to 91 mph (146 kph).

Hundreds of flights were cancelled due to the high winds while train services were repeatedly disrupted by flooding. The travel chaos affected tens of thousands of passengers on a key weekend for British families as schools closed for the mid-winter break.

On Saturday, around 75 British army personnel and 70 reservists helped out communities in the flood-hit Calder Valley region in West Yorkshire, constructing flood barriers and repairing damaged flood defenses.

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