Flood warnings remain in place as Britain braces for another soaking


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The Independent Online

Torrential rain falling on already saturated ground saw a raft of flood warnings remain in place across Britain today.

As the total number of homes flooded during December topped 570, the Environment Agency warned that the possibility of further flooding could cause widespread disruption to road and rail networks ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

It said heavy rain would fall overnight today and into this morning with larger rivers, including the Thames, the Severn and the Wye, likely to remain high for “several days”.

Today there were 91 flood warnings in place in England, Wales and Scotland.

December’s downpours mean it is now likely that 2012 will become the wettest year since records began in 1910.  In the last 10 days the Environment Agency has received more than 28,000 calls for help over potential flooding.

Areas at risk tomorrow include all of Wales, Herefordshire, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire, North Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and Buckinghamshire.  Mobile flood barriers have been installed in Worcester, Shrewsbury and Oxford.

A band of heavy rain is expected to pass across Britain before settling in the South-East tonight.

“With more heavy rain forecast it is still as important as ever to be prepared for flooding,” said Katherine Evans, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency.

Showers returned across the UK today, along with light amounts of snow will fall on high ground in the north of England, including the Pennines and the Lake District, and in Scotland.

Winds reached up to 65 mph in north-west Scotland and 50 mph in exposed areas of England and Wales.