Flood alerts after torrential rain, snow and blizzards batter Britain


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The Independent Online

Large parts of England and Wales are on flood alert today after torrential rain, snow and blizzards swept the UK over the weekend.

Flash floods were reported across the country, with Dorset, Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire the worst affected areas.

The torrential rain fell on ground already sodden from summer downpours, resulting in a number of flood warnings in England and Wales.

This morning the Environment Agency issued 16 flood warnings in areas of the South West, South East, East Anglia, the Midlands and Wales, with 82 flood alerts in place in areas where the threat is less serious.

Bournemouth received the most rainfall in the UK, with 30mm falling in just 24 hours from 5pm on Saturday.

The Dorset town would only expect to receive 100mm of rain on average for the whole of November.

Parts of south Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire were also drenched during the severe downpour. Plymouth recorded 23mm of rainfall during the period.

Julian Mayes, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “It's not exceptional rainfall, but the last two weeks have been fairly wet and it's falling onto saturated ground which means the effect is more immediate. Most southern counties had more than 15mm.”

The snow fell in areas of Somerset, North Dorset, Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire over the weekend, with reports of at least 3cm of snow following blizzards in hilly areas.

Meteogroup colleague Nick Prebble said the weather will become drier over the coming days and the flood threat should decrease as the week goes on.

But he did advise people to wrap up warm if they are going to a Bonfire Night fireworks display this evening.