Floods in Shropshire, England, during Storm Franklin, February 2022. Photo: Shropshire Council
Floods in Shropshire, England, during Storm Franklin, February 2022. Photo: Shropshire Council

by Richard Davies, floodlist

Storm Franklin caused flooding in parts of the UK from 20 February 2022, prompting evacuations in England and Wales.  Franklin was the third named storm to hit the UK within a week, following Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice in which three people died and 1.4 million homes were left without power as a result of strong winds.

In England, the Environment Agency said the worst of the flooding from Storm Franklin was along the River Ouse in Yorkshire and the River Severn in the West Midlands, where a severe flood warning (highest) was issued for Ironbridge in Shropshire and Bewdley in Worcestershire. Some residents evacuated homes in these areas, while roads were closed and rail services suspended.

The Buildwas measuring station near Ironbridge showed the Severn reached 6.55 metres late on 22 February, while the Severn at Bewdley reached 5.33 metres as of 23 February.

Rising rivers had caused flooding in other areas of the country from 20 February, including the Mersey in Greater Manchester, the Derwent in Derbyshire, the Wharfe in North and West Yorkshire and the Don in South Yorkshire.

The River Mersey at Brinksway in Greater Manchester reached a record 4.4 metres on 20 February, beating the previous high of 3.97 metres set in November 2000.  As of 21 February around 70 households were evacuated. Manchester City Council said about 430 properties were at risk of flooding at one point.

In North Yorkshire the Fire Service rescued several people from a flooded caravan site in Knaresborough. The River Ouse flooded areas of York. Around 60 homes were flooded in Tadcaster after the River Wharfe overflowed. Flooding from the same river also caused damage to properties in Otley in West Yorkshire. The River Don burst its banks near Doncaster in South Yorkshire late 20 February.

According to the Environment Agency around 400 homes were damaged by flooding in England during Storm Franklin. The agency added that flood defences had protected more than 40,000 properties despite record river levels.

In Wales, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) reported high levels of the River Severn in Powys. Residents of Llandinam near Newtown evacuated their homes after flooding late on 20 February.

Franklin also cause some coastal flooding in parts of France. Two people drowned after their car was swept away by strong waves in Bricqueville-sur-Mer, northern France on 20 February 2022. Firefighters in Pas-de-Calais carried out more than 2,000 interventions during storms Eunice and Franklin, mostly for wind damage.  Some localised flash flooding was reported in parts of Belgium and the Netherlands.