Risk of more flooding over the next few days, warns Environment Agency

Figures showed some 1,600 properties had flooded since yesterday, while flood defences had protected more than 54,000 homes.

Swollen rivers are still at risk of flooding over the next few days, the Environment Agency has said, as icy temperatures take hold of the UK.

The Environment Agency (EA) warned that some rivers, including the Thames, Trent and Severn, remain at very high levels despite the improving weather.

It could take much longer for floodwaters to subside, as teams work around the clock to shore up defences and clear blockages from watercourses, it added.

Downpours across the country caused widespread devastation in towns and communities, but now the rain has made way for drier weather, the huge and costly clean-up operation can begin.

EA figures showed some 1,600 properties had flooded since yesterday, while flood defences had protected more than 54,000 homes.

Communities should still remain prepared for flooding, with 127 flood warnings and 137 flood alerts still in place across England and Wales, but more than 100 have been removed in the last 24 hours since the weather has improved.

In Whitby, North Yorkshire, preparations were being made to demolish five homes on Aelfleda Terrace because of fears they might collapse.

Work is expected to begin today, although it is understood the steep, tight location will present demolition experts with a number of problems

Torrential rain has led to the gardens and patios sliding down the steep slope below them and they are now 30ft lower than the 150-year-old terrace.

The landslip also saw a huge slab of rock and earth, about the size of a minibus, crash into another terrace of homes below.

North-east Scotland and Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Anglia regions endured more rain overnight, with more expected in north-east Scotland and east England today.

Gemma Plumb, a spokeswoman for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "Generally it will be quite dry today but there will be some localised heavy rain in north-east Scotland and east England.

"It will be very cold over the next few days but mainly dry, dropping to minus six in some areas overnight.

"There will be a risk of ice for some areas, particularly in Wales and south-west England where there has been a lot of heavy rain."

She added that there are hints of more heavy rain and snow moving across the UK from the west on Sunday night.

In Gloucestershire, fire and rescue crews worked with the RSPCA to ensure horses stranded in floodwater received desperately-needed food.

The horses at Severnside Farm, Walham, near Gloucester, had been isolated by the rising waters and farmers were unable to get food to them.

Police closed a stretch of the A40 at the Over Causeway to allow firefighters to lower bales of hay from the bridge to the farmland below.

In total, 10 bales were lowered and taken to the animals, which were nearby on dry land.

Rescue teams then worked to ferry members of the RSPCA and a vet to the horses, which were not accessible except over floodwater.

The animals, some of which had become dehydrated, were checked over and treated when necessary.

Gloucestershire's chief fire officer Jon Hall said: "Though the worst of the floods has now passed, our firefighters are out in the county every day, making sure that residents and animals are safe.

"In this case, our crews were on site for a number of hours to make sure that the horses were fed and safe. It was a fantastic effort and a good example of the very varied responses that the county council is providing to isolated communities at this time."

In Tewkesbury, the borough council is offering a free collection service for flood-damaged goods.

Jim Mason, lead member for clean and green environment at Tewkesbury Borough Council, said: "The effects of flooding can be devastating and we want to make life as easy as possible for our residents who have already had to deal with so much.

"We offered the same service following the floods in 2007 and residents found it useful.

"If you live in a flood-affected property and have items you wish to dispose of, then please do get in touch with us."

As well as the collection service, officers from the council will be making visits to residents living in affected properties to check they are safe, to offer a range of flood-related advice and to see if any further assistance is needed.

Since the severe weather, the council has provided more than 4,500 sandbags to help protect vulnerable properties, and trash screens - which collect and prevent the passage of waste - continue to be cleared by officers.

Gloucestershire County Council's gritting teams will be out again overnight as temperatures drop below freezing.

Forecasters are predicting temperatures to fall to minus 4C, which means tomorrow morning is likely to be frosty.

The council's 33-strong team of gritters started a run this afternoon and will be treating key routes around the county.

"They will also be going out again during the night ahead of tomorrow morning's rush-hour," a council spokeswoman said.

"Although the threat of flooding has subsided, there are still some roads closed because of the recent wet weather."

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 special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
ESPN footage showed a split-screen Murray’s partner Kim Sears and Berdych’s partner Ester Satorova 'sporting' their jewellery
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
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

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee