Forecasters predict month's rain in a day

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The Independent Online

More flood warnings are in place today with some areas facing downpours that could see almost a month's rain fall in a few hours.

The Environment Agency said people in central and eastern England should be on alert as heavy thunderstorms are forecast for many areas today. The Met Office issued another severe weather warning for heavy rain in parts of the Midlands, Wales, southern and eastern England. Many areas were expecting up to 30mm of rain last night and this morning. Some parts could even get up to 60mm of rain, almost the total average for the month of July, in a few hours.

The downpours on ground already saturated by months of rain could lead to surface water flooding where drainage systems are unable to cope, and rivers could possibly burst their banks. The Environment Agency said swollen rivers could prove problematic in parts of the Midlands and East Anglia, while there was still a risk of flooding from rising groundwater across Dorset. John Curtin, of the Environment Agency, said: "The combination of saturated ground, high river levels and further forecasts of torrential rain mean people must remain vigilant."

People are also being urged not to drive or walk through flood waters which can be dirty and full of hidden debris.

The wettest April to June on record, followed by more heavy rain so far this month, has caused widespread – and in some cases, repeated – flooding.