- 19th April 2022
- Posted by: Miranda Pont
- Category: Blog
A number of significant storms impacted the UK this winter, most notably Storm Arwen in November 2021 and Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin in February.
In our latest blog, we look back on the flooding caused by Storm Franklin, using insight and forecasting from our Flood Foresight system.
Between 12 and 24 February 2022, Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin moved across the UK within the space of a week – the first time three named storms had done so since the winter of 2015/2016. And while high winds and severe weather warnings were a feature of these storms, Storm Franklin was responsible for significant rainfall across the UK causing widespread fluvial (river) flooding. Reports suggested that around 400 properties were flooded, with damage to public infrastructure and severe travel disruptions during this period.
What happened during Storm Franklin?
Storm Franklin brought persistent heavy rain and significant fluvial flooding to many parts of the UK resulting in over 400 Flood Alerts and Flood Warnings being issued by the Environment Agency (Gov.uk, 2022).
Severe Flood Warnings were issued for the River Mersey in Greater Manchester, and for the River Severn in Shropshire and in Worcester, suggesting flooding posed a danger to life (Gov.uk, 2022). In Manchester, around 70 homes were evacuated due to impending floodwater (Brown et al., 2022). Properties in Ironbridge, Leeds, and Worcester were also evacuated (Brown et al., 2022).
Our Flood Foresight fluvial forecasting system forecasted numerous instances of flooding throughout the UK between 20 and 26 February 2022, with a particular focus on the North, West, and Midlands. Floods were forecast as early as 14 February in areas such as the Lake District, Manchester, and East Yorkshire. For the River Mersey at Didsbury in Manchester, the system forecast flooding seven days in advance of the actual flood events.
Our Flood Foresight flood monitoring module provides real-time flood depth footprints driven by river gauges with three hourly updates. This system modelled the flood inundation footprint for the River Mersey at Didsbury, Manchester on 21 February. The image below shows the Flood Foresight flood inundation map and a photograph of actual events on the ground.
River Mersey at Didsbury, Manchester.
In Ironbridge, Shropshire, emergency flood protection measures were installed to prevent floodwater from damaging properties in the town centre. You can read more about the emergency response here: Protecting properties in Ironbridge | JBA Consulting
Much of the city of Leeds was flooded which caused widespread traffic congestion, and rail lines were also flooded. Due to the high and fast flowing-water level in the River Aire, a pontoon from the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme was carried downstream, destroying a footbridge.
Our Flood Foresight Fluvial forecasting system forecasted flooding six days in advance of the actual flood events. And the Flood Foresight monitoring system modelled the flood inundation footprint for the River Aire at Leeds on 21 February. The image below shows the Flood Foresight flood inundation map and a photograph of actual events on the ground.
River Aire at Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Want to know more?
Flood Foresight is a unique flood monitoring and forecasting system. It provides near real-time and forecast rainfall and flood data to users needing a reliable source of information to understand potential flood impacts. Based on best-available river telemetry and modelling approaches, combined with state-of-the-art, high-resolution flood maps, Flood Foresight provides reliable predictive analytics on flood impacts before, during and after flood events. Contact John Bevington for more information about Flood Foresight, or visit our webpage where you can download an Executive Summary.
Brown, M., Topham, G. & Campbell, L. (2022) Storm Franklin: ‘danger to life’ flood warnings in Shropshire and Worcestershire. The Guardian, 21 February 2022. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/feb/21/storm-frankin-hundreds-evacuated-and-travel-halted-uk [Accessed: 14.03.2022].
Gov.uk (2022) Flood Alerts & Warnings. Available online: https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk/alerts-and-warnings [Accessed: 21.03.2022].