PM calls Storm Christoph emergency Cobra meeting as weather batters UK
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Boris Johnson will chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee in an effort to tackle Storm Christoph.
Major incidents have already been declared in Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire, with weather warnings for heavy rain in place across the country.
The Environment Agency has warned of a "volatile situation" as downpours combine with melting snow.
The Prime Minister told the House of Commons: "Our sympathies also go out to those affected by the latest floods.
"I want to thank the Environment Agency and our emergency services for the work they're doing to support those communities, and I'll be chairing a Cobra meeting later on to co-ordinate the national response."
The Met Office's amber weather warning, which suggests the possibility of travel disruption and the potential risk to life and property, has been in place across much of the Midlands and northern England since Tuesday morning, January 19.
A less serious yellow warning is in place across the rest of England, parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
More than 120mm of rain has already fallen in parts of the country, with 123.4mm at Honister Pass in Cumbria in the 24 hours up to 6am on Wednesday.
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Nearby Seathwaite saw the second-highest total, with 107.2mm, and some isolated spots could see up to 200mm, the Met Office said.
Met Office forecaster Grahame Madge described Christoph as "quite a slow-moving system" which is bringing "a variety of weather" to the UK.
The meteorologist said: "While rain remains the main hazard in the south, further north we've got snow and ice remaining a risk.
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"The system will work its way through, we are expecting significant totals of rainfall and when you combine that with snowmelt it can lead to localised flooding across the affected regions."
Fifty flood warnings have been issued across England, with 175 less severe flood alerts.
South Yorkshire declared a major incident on Monday evening, January 18, in anticipation of flooding, and Greater Manchester Police followed suit on Tuesday.
The force said people should leave flooded homes if instructed, despite the stay-at-home messaging of the pandemic.
- Boris Johnson
- UK Weather
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