Storm Jonas comes to the UK

Storm Jonas hit the East Coast of the United States of America leaving hundreds of thousands of homes without electricity, bringing cities to a standstill and costing at least 19 people their lives.

Storm Jonas has arrived on Irish soil with its effects spreading throughout the UK over the next 48 hours. It is expected to batter communities still struggling to clean up after the Christmas floods.

Storm Jonas hits the US

On the 23rd January, millions of Americans woke up to a considerable blanket of snow, as Storm Jonas hit the East Coast. The snow storm, dubbed by some as “Snowzilla”, brought Washington DC, Baltimore and New York to a standstill.

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Storm Jonas dumped approximately 64 centimetres of snow in Central Park and in Washington the snow gauge failed, although some reports put the amount at 56 centimetres.
This storm affected 75 million people, cost at least 19 people their lives and is now heading our way.

How will the UK be affected?

It is thought that by the time Storm Jonas hits the UK it will not be record snow fall; more heavy rain which will drench the western side of the UK. There are already yellow weather warnings in place for South and North West England, Yorkshire and the Humber, Wales and North East England.

Current predictions for Storm Jonas expect many parts of the UK to receive between 20 and 40mm of rain, while the most exposed upland areas could see closer to 60mm.

This is not good news as many of these communities are still dealing with the aftermath of Storms Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Eva and Frank which soaked the UK between 12th November and the 30th December last year.

Simpson Millar’s Research

Following on from the Christmas floods, the dedicated Conveyancing Team at Simpson Millar (www.simpsonmillar.co.uk) carried out some research into the flooding. They looked at each flood individually as well as researching the overall impact of these storms. The link is below.

http://floodwatch2015.co.uk/total-impact.html

Survey Results

The long term effects of a changing climate and new flood danger zones will certainly impact on how people buy and sell houses. With this in mind, the conveyancing team posed a few questions to the general public:

Do you think it was possible to avoid flooding this year?
A massive 62% of respondents indicated that they did not think this could be avoided.

Do you think the government did enough to prevent the flood damage?
74% of respondents indicated they thought the government could do more.

Do you think more could be done with Britain’s infrastructure to protect against future floods? 83% of respondents agreed there was more to be done.

Following on from the widespread flooding, the Prime Minister pledged to invest £400 million a year on flood defences over the next 6 years. Recent news reports indicate that both commercial and private properties will be able to apply for financial help following the flooding. So far it would appear nothing other than consultations have happened.

Lisa Gibbs from Simpson Millar commented:

“This will be a worrying time for so many people. The storms which hit at the end of 2015 caused wide spread devastation and many are still at the very beginning of the clean-up stage. To now hear that these communities may be hit a second time is just heart breaking and our thoughts are with them.”

“Some of those worst hit by the floods are already concerned about their properties, not only about the damage that has been done but thinking longer term, about the possibility of selling their homes when the need arises. When purchasing a new home, searches are undertaken which include an environmental search report which will report on historical flooding in the area.  It’s important that all buyers ensure that they instruct their solicitors to carry out these searches; the cost is relatively low in comparison with the potential risk. Before they exchange contracts, buyers should also ensure they can insure the property for all relevant risks, including flooding and that there are no unreasonable excesses applied. Our thoughts continue to be with these communities as they face even more uncertainty.”

Sources:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/warnings/uk
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/12117261/Storm-Jonas-NYC-Washington-blizzard-weather-new-york-live.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/12111695/Historic-blizzard-expected-to-strike-US-east-coast-on-Friday.html
http://www.simpsonmillar.co.uk/news/news.aspx?newsid=3426