The UK Floods in Pictures: South West Submerged as Waters Break Defences

By Gerald Lynch on at

Two months of heavy rains and stormy weather has left large swathes of the UK a soggy, sodden mess. Floods have caused damage to some 1,600 properties (mainly in the South West of England), and there seems little sign of the sorry weather abating.

With severe weather warnings already in place along the Thames and areas in Somerset, a further 14 severe flood warnings have been put in place in Berkshire and Surrey, along with an extra two in Somerset. A £500 million clean up job is now expected, with emergency services struggling to keep up.

With the Thames swelling to unusual highs, even urban areas usually protected by the Thames Barrier from sudden surges are under threat of flooding, such as parts of Staines and Slough.

The extent of the flooding has been reported like never before, thanks to Twitter users posting pictures of flooding hotspots up and down the country, making it easy for the country's media to get a good rubberneck of the damage. Check out some of the craziest amateur shots below, and keep the counties' citizens in mind when you next complain about a little rain sprinkling on your shoulders.

Unusually high river levels may make this bridge in Abingdon all but useless soon. [Serena Martin]

This desolate image looks like something out of a fantasy film, with its poster expressing frustration at the perceived lack of support from authorities. [@dinkydanezoo]

Staines, usually protected from flooding, has seen waters surge from its nearby stretch of the Thames. Here, a dip under a bridge is pretty much impassable thanks to water levels. [Keith Russell]

Surprising dangers rest beneath the waters -- here Red Watch in Abingdon warn of lifting drain covers, which can fly out from beneath the waters due to pressure build ups, leaving sudden, unseeable drops below. [Red watch, Abingdon]

Usual routes and routines have been disturbed by the freak weather. [Pizza Cafe]

This restaurant in Staines could pass as a Venetian destination. [Chris H]

Overnight flooding can dramatically change an area in just a few hours, causing panic and transport struggles for locals. [James Morris]

Farmers have been among the hardest hit, with crop fields ruined and flocks of animals needing to be rescued. [Lizzie Way]

Though this home looks safe for now, sandbag defences have been overwhelmed in many areas. [BBC Radio 4]

It's not just roads that have been hit, but train routes too. Flooding and landslides have caused major delays on some lines, rendering some services completely useless. [Daisy Griffith]

Boats were washed up onto pavements in Dartmouth at the start of the month. [Cafe Alf Resco]

Though they're just for showing off in cities, a Land Rover is exactly the hardy sort of vehicle needed to tackle the high waters in flooded areas. [Flipron]

Here's hoping Funky Feet Fashions do a good line of wellies. [Funky Feet Fashions]

For some, the flooding has become a political issue, highlighting the work down by public sector workers facing budget and job cuts. [@DerSchwarzBaron]

...While others have handled the chaos in the most British way possible. [Jo Summerbell]

Others still were able to revel in the rare tranquility of car-free motorways. [Sue Milverton]

Top Image Credit: UK winter floods of 2014 in Cookham Village from Shutterstock.com