Respite, then more rain will hit UK

 

Communities threatened by floodwaters will enjoy some respite today before rain returns to lash the UK during a washout weekend.

Some parts of the country may even enjoy a peek of sunshine, but that will disappear when the next band of rain comes into the South West and moves across the country later today.

Forecasters say up to 45mm, almost 2ins, of rain could fall in the 24 hours from 6pm tonight, and the Environment Agency is warning people to be braced for more threats of flooding.

The threat will cause concern for hundreds of thousands of people who will be travelling this weekend for Christmas break.

Motorists are being warned not to use flooded roads, and an AA spokesman said the service attended more than 320 breakdowns yesterday due to vehicles getting stuck in floodwater.

Nearly 400 flood alerts and warnings are currently in place, the agency said, including 91 more serious flood warnings, focused on the South West, East Anglia, the Midlands and the North East.

The River Ouse in York is rising steadily, and levels are expected to peak late this afternoon, while the nearby River Ure is also being monitored by Environment Agency staff as it rises. In Dorset the River Stour is rising and threatening farmland near Bournemouth.

Heavy rain swept England and Wales yesterday, leaving residents on tenterhooks as river levels rose.

But while large swathes of the country were on alert, there was no repeat of last month's flooding that caused widespread devastation.

In Wallington, Hampshire, there was a severe flood warning as the River Wallington threatened to burst its banks.

Havant Borough Council evacuated 85 properties as a precaution, the Environment Agency said, and staff reinforced a flood wall which had shown signs of cracking.

The wall held, and flood warnings for the area were removed as the levels receded.

In Cornwall, there was a minor landslide near Gorran Haven which left a tonne of soil blocking the road.

In St Cleer, near Liskeard, one woman had to be rescued from her car after becoming trapped by floodwater, while a man became trapped after driving over a humpback bridge crossing the Bude Canal and found himself surrounded by fast-flowing and rising water, Cornwall Council said.

John Curtin, head of incident management at the Environment Agency, warned people to be alert to the risk of flooding over the weekend.

He said: "Our teams are out around the clock to minimise the risks and prepare for flooding, clearing drainage channels and ensuring that flood defences are working properly.

"We would urge people in at risk areas to keep up to date with the latest situation by checking the Environment Agency website and remain prepared for flooding in their area by signing up to receive free flood warnings.

"With a very busy travel weekend coming up, we would also ask that people check their route before travelling, and remember not to drive or walk through flood water."

Andy Ratcliffe, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said rain had been confined to the North East and Scotland overnight, and that today would largely be dry.

He said: "Throughout today rain will ease in many places, but it will be persistent across eastern Scotland.

"It will be largely dry for most, with the risk of the odd shower. It will be dry until evening, when the next band of rain moves into the South West.

"It will rain during the evening, before pushing north east across most areas overnight, heavy and persistent, with large amounts of rainfall, especially in the South West, which will see between 40mm and 45mm in the 24 hours to 6pm on Saturday.

"Through tomorrow the heavy pulse of rain will push north eastwards, and it will be patchy across much of England and Wales.

"It is a really unsettled picture, and over the next few days there will continue to be a pretty wide risk of flooding."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
Sport
football
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us