More bad weather threatens further floods as thousands STILL without power

Another band of heavy rain and strong winds is expected on Monday and New Years Eve, bringing further floods and disruption

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The Independent Online

Yet another band of heavy rain and strong winds is threatening to bring further flooding to parts of the country, as 4000 homes across the UK are still without power following the Christmas storms.

Although the weather is expected to be more settled over the weekend, by the early hours of Monday morning the terrible conditions are set to return, with the Met Office issuing a yellow severe weather warning, urging people to be aware.

The worst affected areas will be the south west of England, south Wales and western Scotland from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning, with heavy rain expected to spread across the regions, the Met Office said.

Winds of 60-70mph are expected to hit Wales and parts of south-west and southern England, while gales of up to 80mph could return in exposed areas such as the Isles of Scilly, west Cornwall and west Wales.

In Scotland 20-30mm of rainfall expected and as much as 50-60mm on high ground.

“With ground already saturated over much of this region, the public should be aware of the risk of further local flooding,” the Met Office said.

Met Office forecaster Charlie Powell said the bad weather is set to continue into the new year, with another band of rain pushing in from the west on New Years Eve.

 "It certainly looks a very wet and windy picture," he said. "The unsettled weather will be around for quite some time into the new year."

The Environment Agency (EA) said the predicted rainfall means there is a “continued heightened flood risk” across southern England, particularly south-west England, where river levels remain high and the ground is already saturated.

Flood warning and flood alerts remain in place across the UK.

Large rivers such as the Thames, Severn and Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire are most at risk of flooding, while high water levels on the River Medway and Stour in Kent will cause continued flooding and travel disruption, the EA said.

Some 1,300 properties have been flooded during the recent storms in England.

Environment minister Dan Rogerson is in talks with insurance companies and the Association of British Insurers, while the Government has asked EA representatives on the ground to identify which insurance companies are not moving fast enough, a Downing Street spokesman said.

UK Power Networks, one of the UK's biggest power distributors meanwhile has promised to up compensation for customers affected - increasing payments from £27 to £75 for those affected on Christmas Day as “a gesture of goodwill” if their power was out for 48 to 60-hours.

Additional payments will be made to customers who have been without electricity for longer than that time - up to a maximum of £432. Some have been without electricity since Christmas Eve.

In Yalding, Kent, where David Cameron was confronted by an angry flood victim, power to most houses has now been restored after being cut off for five days.

Electricity North West said 1,000 customers were without power in Cumbria this afternoon after engineers had restored more than 20,000 properties across the region.

In Wales, 1,100 houses - mainly in Anglesey and Gwynedd - have no electricity following the storms, a spokesman for Scottish Power said.

UK Power Networks said 481 customers in Kent were without power, along with 96 in Surrey and 251 in Sussex.

A spokesman for the company said: “Due to the severity of the storm damage it may take until the end of the week to restore power supplies to the final single premises affected in these areas, though work is continuing to reconnect most of the remaining supplies as quickly as possible.”