A total of 146 flood warnings were in force and the National Rivers Authority (NRA) said that, with more rain on the way, there were 'distinct' prospects of further flooding.
'We can stand another 10-15mm of rain tonight. But the risk of properties flooding will increase if rainfall exceeds 25mm,' an NRA spokeswoman said.
A London Weather Centre spokesman said: 'It is not the amount of rain falling now that is going to be the problem, but the amount that has fallen previously.' Areas close to flooding might be pushed over the top, he added.
Worst hit was southern England, with 59 flood warnings on rivers in Hampshire, Sussex and Kent. Parts of Chichester town centre were under a foot of water yesterday.
In the West Country, there were flood alerts on 11 rivers. Villagers in Goveton, South Devon, were woken at 4.30am to find a foot of water pouring into their homes. In Somerset, seven farms were cut off and in the village of Curland, residents spent the morning barricading themselves into their homes with sandbags.
The Prince of Wales's Cotswold home, Highgrove House, was blocked by floods after police closed the A433 at Doughton, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, which was under two feet of water.
Insurers are expecting a surge of claims for flood damage, but say the total will be difficult to quantify while the bad weather continues.Reuse content